Great Baji Rout birth anniversary: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik pays tribute

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Puri: Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Saturday paid tributes to the great Baji Rout on the freedom fighter’s birth anniversary.

The artist took to his Twitter handle and shared a picture of one of his murals portraying the image of Baji Rout. Describing the young boy to be one of the greatest freedom heroes, Pattnaik stated that “his story of courage, selflessness, and valour needs to be known to every child.”

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Baji Rout is the youngest Indian martyr, having been killed at the age of twelve. Rout, who was a boat boy, was shot by British police when he refused to ferry them across the Brahmani River on the night of 11 October 1938 at Nila kanthapur Ghat, Bhuban, Dhenkanal district.

The 12-year old Baji Rout hailed from Odisha, where he stood up against the British and lost his life.

British police in the midnight of October 10, 1938 attacked Bhuban village in the district, arrested some persons and leaders without any reason and took them to Bhuban police station. Several villagers gheraoed the police station and demanded release of the arrested persons.

The cops did not listen to the demand of the agitators and fired at them during which Raghu Naik and Quri Naik were shot dead and many persons were injured.

Apprehending their lives at risk, policemen wanted to go to Dhenkanal through Nilakantapur Ghat as it was the shortest way to Dhenkanal.

On the night of October 11, 1938, the cops reached Nilakanthapur Ghat of Brahmani river while it was raining. Baji Rout, a member of the children’s wing of the Prajamandal Andolan, was in charge of a country boat at the ghat.

The Britishers ordered him to carry them across the river through his boat, to which he denied fearlessly. The police force fired at Baji Rout along with two other boatmen Laxman Mallik and Fagu Sahoo killing them on the spot.

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