Martyrs' Column Unveiled

35th Anniversary of Historic Ghorhuan Martyrdom Day!


ON 3rd June 1975, weeks before the infamous Emergency, fifteen brave fighters of the people including Comrades Virad Manjhi, Gyaneshwar Yadav and Rambabu Yadav had inscribed a new chapter in the epic battle for liberation of Indian people. When encircled by the CRPF at Ghorhuan village in Masaurhi block of Patna District, they chose to embrace martyrdom rather than slipping away from the encirclement. For 18 long hours they fought a heroic battle with the combined might of the police and paramilitary forces like the CRP and BMP.
Comrade Virad Manjhi (40, hailed from Dehri village in Punpun) was the chief commander of the squad and also member of the then Patna-Gaya Zonal Committee. Comrade Gyaneshwar Yadav (native of Buxar; aka Nagendra) only 25 at the time of martyrdom, was member of Bihar State Committee and chief political commissar of the squad. Amongst the Party organisers Comrade Rambabu Yadav (28; aka Kailash) was member of the Patna-Gaya Zonal Committee, Comrade Prakash Chandra Mukherjee (27; aka Gopi, resident of Jakkanpur, Patna) was area committee member and Comrade Ramjatan Manjhi (22; also younger brother of Com. Virad Manjhi) was also a squad commander. The other martyrs were all fighters and squad members – Ramji Manjhi (21; Dehri in Punpun); Rajvallabh Ravidas (20), Rajaram Ravidas (25), Kavindar Ram (20) and Girija Paswan (22; all four hailing from Dekuli village in Punpun); Nageshwar Manjhi aka Suresh (26; Behrawan Chak, Punpun); Ramdas Paswan (20; Harwaspur in Masaurhi); Ramavtar Sav aka Sipahiji (50; Larha in Dhanrua) and Kishori Bind (40) and Bindu Paswan (24), both hailing from Madhuban in Dhanrua.
People of many villages where Party’s struggle is prominent have erected memorials on their own initiative for martyrs hailing from their villages. However, none of the martyrs at Ghorhuan was native of this village and so there was no memorial yet at this historic site. The Masaurhi Dhanrua Committee decided to construct a glorious memorial at Ghorhuan and the comrades worked round the clock to accomplish this in a short period of 18 days. Comrade Mohan Manjhi who received bullet injury in that battle and spent long years in jail donated the land for the memorial without a second thought.
On June 3, 2010, the memorial was finally unveiled by Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya in the presence of several senior leaders of Bihar including Politburo members Ram Jatan Sharma and Nand Kishore Prasad and several members of the CC and Bihar State Committee. The unveiling ceremony of the martyrs’ memorial became a big festive occasion for the people of Ghorhuan and other neighbouring villages. Comrades from all over Patna and some even from neighbouring districts like Jahanabad, Arwal and Nalanda participated in the programme. Notable was the presence of large number of women whose near and dear ones had sacrificed their lives in Ghorhuan and other similar battles. Comrade Nandkishore Prasad, Secretary of Party’s Bihar State Committee, felicitated family members of the Ghorhuan martyrs.
Com. Pawan Sharma, who was working in Patna at the time of the Ghorhuan battle, recalled the entire incident, how the police and paramilitary had encircled the village and how the comrades safely guided the people out of the village while choosing martyrdom for themselves. Comrade RN Thakur, another veteran leader from those initial years, stressed the historic significance of the battles of the 1970s in the ongoing development of the Party and the rural poor’s battle for dignity, democracy and development.

Delivering the concluding speech, Comrade Dipankar pointed out how the shared vision and battle for a new society and new polity had imparted a new consciousness and identity to the Party. This new consciousness transcended the ordinary divisions of caste or rural-urban divides or the gap between the intellectuals and ordinary illiterate masses and inspired and equipped everybody as an equal participant in the battle for a better tomorrow. He congratulated the comrades of Patna and Bihar for keeping alive the glorious legacy of the Ghorhuan martyrs and called for carrying it forward by delivering deathblows to feudal remnants. “In the battle for land reforms, the stage has now been set for a decisive showdown with feudal forces and the inheritors of the glorious legacy of Ghorhuan must now get ready to unite and win this important battle,” said Comrade Dipankar.