Stamp on Komagata Maru incident presented to Punjabi University V-C

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2014 14:26 IST

The Komagata Maru Heritage Foundation of Canada presented a plaque, carrying a stamp released by the Canada Post Department depicting the fateful incident, to Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University Dr Jaspal Singh in his office on Friday.

The stamp, which was presented by Harbhajan Singh Gill, president of the foundation, commemorates the 100th anniversary of Komagata Maru incident and was released on May 1 at the beginning of the Asian heritage month in Canada.

The Komagata Maru incident involved a Japanese steamship, the Komagata Maru, that sailed from Hong Kong, to Canada, in 1914, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab.

Of them 24 were admitted to Canada, but the 352 other passengers were not allowed to land in Canada, and the ship was forced to return to India.

The ship was turned around and forced to depart on July 23 for Asia.

The ship arrived in Calcutta on September 27. Upon entry into the harbour, the ship was stopped by a British gunboat, and the passengers were placed under guard.

When the ship docked at Budge Budge, the police went to arrest Baba Gurdit Singh and the 20 or so other men that they saw as leaders.

He resisted arrest, a friend of his assaulted a policeman and a general riot ensued. Shots were fired, 19 of the passengers were killed.

Prominent among those present on the occasion were AS Chawla, Dean, Academic Affairs and Devinder Singh, Registrar of the university.

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