India Post had released a commemorative postage stamp on 8th July 2018 to honour the noted freedom fighter Damodar Hari Chapekar on his 120th Death anniversary. A total of 530390 stamps were printed using the Wet Offset printing technique at Security Printing Press, Hyderabad.
Pune was hit by a year-long Bubonic plague in 1896. A Special Plague Committee, headed by an Indian Civil Service officer named W.C. Rand was formed to deal with this issue. The committee resorted to oppressive measures such as entering private houses forcefully, evacuation to hospitals, destroying personal information and restricting movement from the city.
The Act of Revolution
W.C. Rand and his military escort Lt. Ayerst continued with their nasty ways to deal with the emergency even after several complaints were registered. These two officers were attending the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the coronation of Queen Victoria on 22nd June 1897 at the Government House. The three Chapekar brothers waited for the officers to come out. Damodar Hari Chapekar shot W.C. Rand at around midnight, and he died on 8th July 1897.
Charges and Legal Proceeding
The Chapekar Brothers became famous overnight and earned a lot of respect not only from people in Pune but all across the nation as well. They were charged with several other crimes like shooting two informants, attempt to shoot Police Officer Lord Sandstone etc. The Government announced that they would award Rs.10,000 and Rs.20,000 for providing information and arresting them respectively. Finally, Damodar Hari Chapekar was arrested after receiving tips from an informer. He was sentenced to death and was hanged on 18th April 1898.
No Indian would ever forget the sacrifices of Krantiveer Damodar Hari Chapekar and the new postage stamp is a fitting tribute to the great freedom fighter.
Image Courtesy: India Post