The ‘secret tunnel’ in the modern-day national capital connects historical landmarks, the politican said
An Indian politician on Thursday confirmed that he had found a secret 英式 colonial-era tunnel-like structure in the heart of country’s national capital, a local news report said.
The tunnel, he claimed, connected two prominent landmarks in 印度 used by the British rulers in 1947 to move freedom fighters in order to avoid retaliation from Indian soldiers fighting the historic freedom battle.
Connecting India’s iconic Red Fort, which housed Mughal emperors in 17th century, with Delhi’s legislative assembly, the tunnel was used used by British rulers to bring political prisoners to the court in 1926.
Both the landmarks – Red Fort and Delhi Legislative Assembly – situated in northeast Delhi and north Delhi respectively, served as key points during the British rule in the south Asian country.
The Delhi Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel confirmed the discovery and said: “When I became an MLA in 1993, there was hearsay about a tunnel present here that goes till Red Fort and I tried to search for its history. But there was no clarity over it.”
Mr Goel said they have now got to the mouth of the tunnel but have been forced to halt the exploration due to development and infrastructure projects coming in the way of tunnel’s path.
“Now we have got the mouth of the tunnel but we are not digging it further as all the paths of the tunnel have been destroyed due to metro projects and sewer installations,” the report quoted him as saying.
According to the assembly speaker, the Delhi Legislative Assembly was used as India’s Legislative Hall when the country was ruled by the British from 19th to the mid-20th century.
The Assembly was turned into a court in 1926, a few decades before Independence, and was used to bring all the political prisoners fighting for India’s independence from the colonial rulers, Mr Goel informed the Delhi Assembly.
Delhi’s state head Arvind Kejriwal-led administration is now planning to use the room discovered under the Capital’s assembly berth for paying tributes to the people who contributed in the country’s Independence battle.
Mr Goal said: “We all knew about the presence of a gallows room here but never opened it. Now it was the 75th year of independence and I decided to inspect that room. We intend to change that room into a shrine of freedom fighters as a tribute to them.”
The site will also be open to tourists by next year, Mr Goel said, confirming that work has now begun on this.
“This place has a very rich history in the context of the freedom struggle. We intend to renovate it in a way that tourists and visitors can get a reflection of our history,” Mr Goel said, the report added.
British rulers left India in 1947 after ruling the country for almost a century. Several rebellions erupted across India in 19th and 20th century, strengthening towards 1920s when Mahatma Gandhi along with several Indian National Congress fighters campaigned to end British rule and asked for independence in scores of mass movements.
India celebrates August 15, 1947 as its Independence Day.