Restore Thane fort from jail authorities: speakers

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Thane, Jan 13 (UNI) The Thane Central Jail, originally a historical fort, should be restored from the jail authorities and opened for public visit, demanded speakers here today.

Speaking on the occasion of release of a book entitled 'Thane Killa', written by historian Sadashiv Tetvilkar, freedom fighter Dattaji Tamhane and researcher Dr Dawood Dalvi said that the fort should be thrown open for the citizens as it is a place of historical importance and also pride of the district.

Mr Tamhane was the chief guest at the function, while Dr Dalvi presided over it.

They said that the fort as a jail, has also been a place of inspiration for the freedom struggle in the country and Maharashtra.

The 275-year-old monument was constructed by the Portuguese for the protection of Sashti island on a 13.5 acres of land. It was converted into a jail in 1816 by the British.

Even after 61 years of independence of the country the fort is still a jail, they noted, adding that the martyrs memorials in the jail should also be made available for the citizens to view.

Mr Tamhane recalled his days in Thane jail and said that memories of the freedom struggle are attached to this jail.

Prominent freedom fighters such as Vasudeo Balvant Phadke, Swatantraveer Savarkar, Senapati Bapat, Saneguruji were lodged in the jail, he said.

Adivasi martyr Raghoji Bhangre, Anant Kanhere, Krishna Karve and Vinayak Deshpande were hanged in the jail following their sentence, Mr Tamhane recalled.

The jail itself is a pride for Maharashtra on account of various reasons, they said and added that the fort has witnessed victory of Marathas over the Britishers, the strong resistance put up by Kolis and Bhillas, Chimaji Appa's action and the fight Gangaji Naik Anjurkar and his four brothers gave to protect Sashti island.

Mr Tamhane said that the jail should be shifted elsewhere and the fort be restored to its original status and kept as a monument to be preserved for years.

Leader of the house in the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) Vilas Sawant suggested that the demand be forwarded to the Department of Archeology for restoring the original status of the jail.

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