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From the archives of the Hindustan Times: February 12

Important and interesting stories from HT chronicles.

chronicles Updated: Feb 12, 2020 15:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
(HT File)

Impressive scenes at inauguration of New Delhi (1931)

New Delhi- The first big brilliant ceremony connected with official inauguration of New Delhi was held this morning when four red stone columns with gilded galleons on summits designed to reproduce features associated with famous Asoka’s pillar and which are gifts by Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand were unveiled in the presence of a distinguished assemblage of civil officials who wore levee dress and a military uniforms. Though the function was timed at eleven the open spaces in front of the Northern and Southern Blocks of imperial Secretariat were occupied by thousands of spectators and the sun was bright after three days cloudy and rainy weather.

The Chief Commissioner of Delhi, scores of ruling princes and Chiefs, members of Governor-General’s Executive Council, Governor, Punjab, Right Hon. Baron Hardinge, representatives of Dominions. His Excellency Sir Philip Chetwoode all arrived in order.

Viceroy’s arrival

At exactly eleven Their Excellencies Lord and Lady Irwin left the Viceroy’s House under a salute of thirty one guns and their approach to dominion columns was heralded by fanfare of trumpets. Massed bands of Yorks and Lanes and Royal Irish Fusiliers announced the approach of Their Excellencies by striking national anthem. Lord and Lady Irwin arrived in carriage with six horses postillions in scarlet, full body guard and staff of Yorks and Lanes and 19th Royal Jats furnished smart guard of honour.

Nearly five thousand spectators occupied special seats while thousands sat on roofs of the secretariat buildings and yet hundreds of others stood nearby. The scene was most impressive and their Excellencies on arrival were received by Sir Joseph Bhore who presented Sir Herbert Baker, architect, Sir Alexander Rouse, Chief Engineer and Brigadier F. H. F. Lakin Brigade Commander Delhi Independent Brigade area. The Viceroy after inspecting the guard of honour proceeded to the dais.

Jan Sangh President found dead on railway track (1968)


Lucknow- A Special CID officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police has been deputed by the State Government to investigate the death of Jan Sangh President Din Dayal Upadhyaya which took place at Moghulsarai today.

According to details available at the State headquarters, his body was found on the railway track near the outer signal of the Moghulsarai railway station at 3-25 a.m.

It was taken to the office of the Government Railway Police. It had injuries in the shoulders, legs and hands. One of the ears was bleeding.

As soon as his identity was established, Jan Sangh leaders from Banaras were sent for.

Mr Upadhyaya had a ticket from Lucknow to Patna and was in a first class coupe compartment, probably alone,in the Sealdah Express bound for Patna.

Luggage intact

His luggage was found intact at Mokameh. A wrist watch he was wearing was also there.

Deputy Chief Minister and Forest Minister Ganga Bhakt Singh flew to Banaras in the afternoon.

According to the police at Varanasi, a railway porter reported to the Moghulsaral GRP that a body was lying parallel to the track.

The police, accompanied by a railway doctor, rushed to the spot.

The body was then examined by the police. A currency note was found under his right arm. A Lucknow-Patna first class ticket and Rs 25 in cash were recovered.

The police also found both the legs fractured from the ankle and a hole on the back of the head.

The right arm was also bleeding. The body was then taken to the platform and the Lucknow authorities were asked to check the name of the passenger. He was then identified as Mr Upadhyaya.

President Ahmed is Dead (1977)


New Delhi- President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed died this morning after a massive heart attack which he suffered in the bathroom of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The second President to die in office- the first being Dr Zakir Husain- Mr Ahmed collapsed in the bathroom at about 6 a.m. and was unconscious until his personal physician rushed in and revived him for a short while. Emergency treatment was given in the bathroom itself.

Mr Ahmed appeared to rally round and asked his physician to take him to his bedroom as he felt stuffy in the bathroom. But the doctor decided against it to avoid further strain on the heart and awaited other heart specialists to render help.

Within minutes, the President suffered a second and more massive heart attack and lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered. The team of doctors which had arrived by that time could not revive him “in spite of immediate and intensive efforts at cardio-pulmonary resuscitation”. They pronounced him dead at 8-52 hours after a “cardiac arrest.” Mr Ahmed was 72. The funeral will take place on Sunday afternoon.

The news of the President’s death plunged the nation in gloom and all Government offices and commercial establishments closed down immediately.

The Vice-President, Mr Basappa Danappa Jatti, was sworn in as Acting President at 10-40 a.m. at the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapatt Bhavan by the Chief Justice of India, Mr M. H. Beg. Mr Jatti, 65, will be designated as Vice-President acting as President.

Mr Ahmed was taken ill in Kuala Lumpur while on an official visit early this week and returned home yesterday after cancelling his State visits to the Philippines and Burma. It is stated that he had strained himself too much on the first day of his visit and had felt exhausted the next day.