kuka-memorial

130 years ago Giani Rattan Singh and Sant Rattan Singh, two Namdhari sikhs (Kookas), were hanged from one of the branches of this banyan tree in full public view for having powerfully closed down a number of slaughterhouses opened by the British in the state. While the branch is no more, the tree still stands as a living remnant of the cruelty of the British to curb the then fast-spreading Kuka Movement of the country’s freedom struggle.

On 14th June 1871, the Kukas entered the Amritsar slaughterhouse and freed the cows after murdering the butchers. In retaliation, the British government prosecuted and awarded capital punishment to 12 innocent Hindus and Sikhs. The Kukas, on the advice of their Guru, then confessed their involvement and surrendered to the authorities. A memorial was then built to those who were executed or sent to Kaalapani Prison in the Andamans.

A befitting memorial plaque referring to the martyrdom of the two namdhari Sikh freedom fighters and the adoration of their sacrifice has been erected under the tree. Another board at back of the tree shows a painting of the hanging scenes along with the brief explanation of the hanging scene.