Slain Martyrs of 1872 Devonshire Castle Uprising remembered

first_imgThe five sugar workers  who were viciously killed during the Devonshire Castle uprising in 1872 were on Wednesday remembered during an impressive wreath-laying ceremony held at the monument site, at Cabbage Day, Devonshire Castle, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). The activity was organised by the Region Two Regional Democratic Council (RDC).Acting Chairwoman Nandranie Coonjah lays a wreathAttendees at the remembrance serviceWreaths were laid at the monument which was erected in honour of the indentured immigrants. Acting Chairwoman, Nandranie Coonjah, representatives from the Anna Regina Town Council, Department of Education, school children and the Devonshire Castle community all participated in the ceremony.Delivering the feature address was retired Headmaster and Justice of the Peace (JP) Madhya Persaud. He reminded that the indentured labourers were killed due to their protest against harsh and inhumane conditions under which they were forced to work.On May, 5, 1838, he related, Indians came to Guyana as Indentured labourers operating under the indentured system with specific obligations. The labourers were at the time given poor wages with incredibly long working hours, and administrative abuse. They were equally alarmed by mysterious deductions from their wages which upon investigation could not be justified.Persaud said they were not allowed the freedom to fight for their rights in the Magistrate Courts.“They were just found in three places: hospitals, jails and (on) estates, due to the harsh conditions, and uprising started throughout Guyana and in 1872 it took feet in Essequibo. There was uneasiness, a strike took place, the police came, opened fire and cold bloodedly murdered the innocent labourers; they were gunned down,” Persaud informed.He explained that during the uprising seven were injured and 5 were killed. Among the dead were Kaulica, Beccaroo, Maxidally, Baldeo and Acukloo. These men lost confidence in the estate management and as such retaliated.Persaud said that the uprising brought freedom for other indentureds on the plantations and showed how courageous and determined they were.According to Chairwoman, Coonjah, the observance marked the 144th Anniversary of the Devonshire Castle Uprising. She called on the Region Two Administration, through the RDC, to give more prominence to the event and recommended that it be held annually.Coonjah acknowledged the efforts made of recent by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport to highlight the event and said it is important for children to be taught about the sacrifices and trials the Indentured labourers endured.In recognition of the five martyrs who were killed on September 29, 1872, the Devonshire Castle Moument serves as a tangible reminder of the struggles of the Indian foreparents. Attending the event also was Ishack Basir, CCH.last_img read more