Khordha: President Ram Nath Kovind has laid the foundation stone for the Paika Rebellion Memorial which will come up at Barunei Hills here today during his ongoing two-day visit to Odisha.
Kovind arrived in a special chopper of Indian Air Force to the venue this morning and laid the foundation stone in an event which was attended by Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union MoS for Tourism & Culture Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi along with State Tourism & Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi.
While addressing the occasion the president was of the opinion that, once completed the memorial will play a pivotal role in making youths of the state aware of the great Paika Rebellion. The memorial will act towards youths of the state aware of the great past, he added.
Similarly, speaking at the event CM Naveen Patnaik thanked the president and both the Union Ministers on behalf of the people of Odisha for the project. He appealed Centre to launch a new express train named after Bakshi Jagabandhu on the occasion also.
The Paika Rebellion Memorial will be constructed on 10 acres of land on Barunei foothills.
Notably, the Paika Rebellion, locally known as the Paika Bidroha was an armed rebellion against the British East India Company rule in Odisha in 1817. Valiant Paikas led by Bakshi Jagabandhu had taken part in the rebellion. Historians in Odisha consider this as the First War of Independence of India started years ahead of Sepoy Mutiny in 1857.