Punjab Prison Cell Where Nehru was Detained in 1923 Collapses, Party Leaders Allege Fund for Maintenance Unused
'The state tourism department has taken the jail room for its maintenance for the past 10 years, but nothing has been done to develop it as a tourist destination', said Pawan Goyal, Punjab Congress general secretary.
File image of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jaitu: A prison cell in Jaitu town of Punjab's Faridkot district where Jawaharlal Nehru and two other Congress leaders were lodged in 1923 has collapsed due to incessant rains, a senior police official said on Thursday.
During the Independence movement, Nehru and his colleagues were briefly lodged there for violating prohibitory orders banning their entry into the then princely state of Nabha.
One wall and the roof of the historical 240 square-ft jail room in which Nehru, K Santhanam and A T Gidwani were kept on September 22, 1923 collapsed on Wednesday following heavy rains, Faridkot Senior Superintendent of Police Rajbachan Singh Sandhu said.
Nehru along with the two Congress leaders had arrived at Jaitu to participate in 'Jaitu Ka Morcha' launched by the Akalis against the Britishers.
The SSP said the condition of the room was not good and nothing was done to maintain it for the past several years.
Nehru had come to Jaitu after a resolution was passed in the Congress session in 1923 supporting the morcha. Nehru along with the two Congress leaders were sent by the party to get information about political developments.
After remaining in the cell for a day on September 23, 1923, the Congress leaders, including Nehru, were shifted to Nabha jail after the court handed them a two-year jail term on October 3.
During his Punjab visit in 2008, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had on September 23 visited the cell, where the country's first prime minister once stayed.
The cell is adjacent to the Jaitu Police Station.
Punjab Congress general secretary Pawan Goyal said the then Congress government at the Centre had sanctioned Rs 65 lakh for the maintenance of the cell.
"The state tourism department has taken the jail room for its maintenance for the past 10 years, but nothing has been done to develop it as a tourist destination," he said.
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