INDIA. Mumbai: The Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame was taken to Cellular Jail at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands to mark the 50th-anniversary celebrations of India’s victory in the 1971 war on Thursday.
The Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC) had organized various events at the Cellular Jail. The events included a band display from the troops of joint services, a light and sound show and a short movie on the 1971 war. Army Component Commander Brigadier Rajeev Nagyal was the Chief Guest. Service veterans, senior Military Officers and civil dignitaries were also present on the occasion. The Army Component Commander collected soil from the Cellular Jail as part of the national initiative of soil collection from various parts of the motherland.
The Cellular Jail proudly stands as a symbol of India’s freedom struggle. Also known as Kālā Pānī, the jail was used to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. Many notable freedom fighters including Barrister Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla, and V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, were imprisoned there during the India’s freedom struggle. Today, the Cellular Jail serves as a national monument.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island
In another event, the victory flame was taken to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, (formerly Ross Islands), under the aegis of the Naval Component of Andaman and Nicobar Command, on Wednesday. The Victory Flame was accorded full ceremonial honours along with wreath-laying and salutations by the Indian Navy Guard as a tribute to the fallen heroes of the 1971 war at the ‘Lone Sailor Statue’.
The ‘Lone Sailor Statue’ overlooking the approach to Port Blair harbour was constructed to honour those who put up a gallant act at sea and made the supreme sacrifice. In the context of the 1971 war, the event was organized to pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice by the officers and sailors of INS Khukri, including the Commanding Officer Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla (Maha Vir Chakra posthumous) who chose to go down with his ship.
The Island is situated three kilometers East of Central Port Blair. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had hoisted the national Tricolour there in December 1943 during the freedom struggle. To commemorate the 75th year of the historic event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had renamed Ross Island as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island on December 30, 2018. After visiting the Island, the Victory Flame came back to Port Blair Jetty.