Kathmandu, Jan 24: The Martyr's Week has commenced from today. During this week, the nation pays tribute to the four martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the wellbeing of the country and people and their freedom.
These four martyrs – Shukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Gangalal Shrestha and Dashrath Chand – had spearheaded the Revolution in 1949 to overthrow the 104-year-long autocratic family rule of the Ranas and establish democracy in the country.
On the first day of the Martyr's Week, a heartfelt tribute was paid to martyr Shukraraj Shastri at Pachali in Teku, where Shastri was executed by the then Rana regime on January 23, 1941. Martyr Shastri's statue was garlanded.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) organised the programme, commemorating the day when Shastri attained martyrdom. KMC mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya, Deputy Mayor Hari Prabha Khadgi Shrestha, among the dignitaries garlanded Martyr Shastri's statue.
The programme was a part of the Martyr's Week being observed across the country in memory of four martyrs including Shastri, Mathema, Chand and Shrestha who were executed in January 1941 by autocratic Rana rulers for initiating democratic movement in the country.
Every year, Magh 16 in the Nepali calendar is marked as National Martyr’s Day, commemorating those who were executed by the autocratic Rana rulers for voicing for people’s rights and those who lost their lives in various movements launched for democracy and people’s sovereignty.
The then prime minister Juddha Shumsher Rana had announced the death penalty for the four martyrs on January 19, 1941.
Four days later, Martyr Shastri was hanged from a tree at Teku, and Dharma Bhakta was hanged at Siphal ground after seven days.
Similarly, nine days after the death penalty was announced, Shrestha and Chand were shot dead on the banks of the Bishnumati River at Sobhabhagawati.
The metropolis has erected a life-size statue of all four martyrs in the places where they attained martyrdom. The then Kathmandu Town Panchayat started protecting the site where condolence assembly of Shastri was organised by keeping an epitaph since 2035 BS.
The KMC started to observe Martyr’s Week in 2012 by constituting Martyr’s Week Main Ceremony Committee.
Commemorative programmes are planned for January 27 at Siphal to pay tribute to Martyr Mathema and on January 29 to pay homage to Martyr duo Shrestha and Chand at their memorial sites.