Bhubaneswar: President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said huge investment has been made for infrastructure development in Odisha as the Centre is focusing on the development of eastern part of the country.
The President said Odisha is blessed by nature with abundant natural resources.
The President laid the foundation stone for the Paika Rebellion Memorial at Barunei Hill in Khordha.
Paika Rebellion of 1817 was India’s first organised armed rebellion against the oppressive rule of the East India Company.
He said the memorial will be an inspiration for the people in the future.
“The memorial, after getting established, will play a major role in making youths and tourists aware about the legends of paikas. I thank Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for their efforts towards establishment of the memorial,” he added.
The President also remembered the sacrifices of Jai Rajguru and Buxi Jagabandhu, who fought against the East India Company.
Paikas were essentially the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during times of war.
They had rebelled against the East Indian Company under the leadership of Buxi Jagabandhu as early as 1817.
Patnaik said the state government has allocated land for the memorial while it would provide other infrastructure facilities for the memorial.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister also reiterated the demand to accord Paika rebellion as the first war of Independence of the country and run an express train from Odisha in the name of Buxi Jagabandhu.
Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Prahlad Joshi, Pratap Sarangi and Odisha Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi were present on the occasion.