Taste of Freedom after three days in Malda and South Dinajpur

MALDA/ SOUTH DINAJPUR
18 Aug 2018

When the entire nation was celebrating the first Independence Day with unshackled jubilance, the residents of Malda and South Dinajpur were busy battling against an uncertain fate as those two districts were included to Pakistan.
According to the demarcation made by Cyril John Radcliffe Malda and South Dinajpur (then West Dinajpur) districts were included in Pakistan.
Immediately protests were started by the residents of two districts who did not accept the decision. However, paying no heed to their demands, Abdul Karim Khan, the then sub deputy controller, made the district magistrate hoist the green flag at the district administrative building in Malda.
Mohammed Panaullah hoisted the Pakistan flag in South Dinajpur.
Defying the patrolling of Pak army personnel, the local Congress and Hindu Mahasabha leaders got on the streets with fullest might declaring that the second-battle for independence would continue until Malda and South Dinajpur were not returned to India.
After a tug of war for 72 hours and sensing the fury of the people the decision was eventually revised. Malda and South Dinajpur were included to India again.
Ashok Sen, ICS took over as the first district magistrate of Malda as the Pakistan army left. Indian tri-colour was hoisted by the representatives of Government of India on August 18.
Anima Sarkar, an octogenarian from Puratuli area in Malda still  recalls the euphoria that gripped Malda at the moment. “I was a kid then. But we all joined the crowd that came out of homes and rushed to district collectorate building where the Indian national flag was hoisted in the morning. Many were crying out of sheer joy, many others were frantically sloganeering Vande Mataram,” Sarkar said.
Same was the scene in South Dinajpur. “Tri-colour was found flying high across South Dinajpur districts. It was the hour of tasting the independence although after 72 hours. Tears were beyond control,” a nonagenarian actor of South Dinajpur said.
As the country is under national-morning, national flag unlike other years was not hoisted in Malda today to commemorate the day. But the residents and different organizations paid homage to the stalwarts who promised not to retreat till Malda and South Dinajpur got true independence. (EOIC)