Nagpur: Chairman of NMC’s Standing Committee Ramesh Singare on Monday visited to the Adivasi Govari Martyrs Memorial situated near Old Morris College T-Point and reviewed arrangements being made for Adivasi Gavari Martyrs Day event that falls on November 23. The Memorial is likely to be visited several dignitaries, hundreds of Adivasis and others to pay their tributes to the Govari martyrs. In view of the event, Singare personally visited the spot and reviewed the arrangements.
The Memorial was constructed by State Public Works Department (PWD) and it maintained by Nagpur Improvement Trust. Singare directed the officials to undertake repairs, colouring and other works immediately and complete them before November 23. “A concerted policy needs to be drafted for maintenance of the Adivasi Govari Memorial and the Statue,” stressed the Chairman of Standing Committee during his visit.
Others who accompanied Singare include NIT Superintending Engineer Sunil Gujjalwar, NMC’s Development Engineer Satish Neral, Executive Engineer (Construction) Rahul Warke, PWD Engineer Indurkar and office-bearers of Adivasi Govari Martyrs Memorial Committee.
During the Winter Session of State Legislature in 1994, the Gowari stampede occurred on November 23 in which 114 people from the Gowari community were killed and 500 more injured. Nagpur Police were trying to disperse almost 50,000 Gowari protesters using a baton charge but it created panic and triggered a stampede amongst the protesters. The majority of casualties were women and children who were crushed to death under the crowd’s feet as they scrambled to escape the police line.
Some were victims of barbed wire piercing as they were climbing over high fences to escape. For quite some time, the Gowari community had been demanding scheduled tribe status to avail themselves of the benefits of reservations in government jobs and education. On November 23, 1994, Gowari protesters, led by Gowari Sanghatana, were trying to reach Vidhan Bhavan and present their demands to the state government. Police stopped the march of 50,000 protesters near Morris College T-Point. What followed was the tragedy of monumental magnitude.