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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today demanded the Paika Rebellion of Khurda be called as the first war of Independence in the Country.

In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Patnaik said "The Paika Rebellion (1817 AD) of Odisha, which took place 40 years before the Sepoy Mutiny (1857 AD) eminently qualifies to be called as the 'First War of Independence' not simply because it took place four decades prior to the Sepoy Mutiny but due to its very nature and characteristic features." He further stated,

I think that would be a befitting tribute to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paika Rebellion. I request the Government of India to consider this proposal positively.

His writing came a day after the Odisha cabinet approved a proposal to recommend to the Centre to declare the uprising of 1817 as the First War of Independence in the Indian history.

With the nation celebrating the bi-centenary of the freedom struggle, the state government approved the proposal to recommend to the Centre for the same.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra also welcomed the decision of State cabinet. He said, "Politics should not be done over it and it is sad that people do not support such an initiative. Government should call an all-party meeting to prepare an unanimous resolution regarding this in the Assembly and send it to Centre."

Notably, the resistance against the British rule began from Ghumsur and subsequently spread to Banpur in Khurda, Pipili, Puri, Kujanga, Pattamundai and Keonjhar. Paikas (the traditional landed militia of Odisha), zamindars, peasants and tribals participated in the freedom struggle.

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