Battle of Pookottur commemorated

The battle was a turning point in the Malabar Rebellion of 1921
SEMINAR: P.V. Abdul Wahab, MP, inaugurating a seminar organised to commemorate the Battle of Pookottur at Aravankara on Wednesday
MALAPPURAM: The people of Pookottur, near here, on Wednesday observed the 89th anniversary of the Battle of Pookottur that had become a turning point in the Malabar Rebellion of 1921. A seminar on the battle was organised at Aravankara, near Pookottur.

A mass ziyarat (visit) to the graves of Mapila martyrs was also held.

P.V. Abdul Wahab, MP, inaugurated the seminar. He said Mahatma Gandhi’s Khilafat call had inspired the people of Eranad to take up arms against British imperialism.

It was on August 26, 1921, that 2,000-odd Mapila warriors of the Khilafat and the freedom movement fought against the British at Pookottur. About 300 Mapilas were killed in the battle. The number of British troops killed was only 10.

What triggered the battle was the arrest of Vadakkuveettil Mammath, a local leader of the Khilafat Movement, in connection with the theft of a feudal lord’s gun. When people resisted the arrest, the British troops surrounded the Juma Masjid of Tirurangadi and arrested Ali Musliar. The arrest of Ali Musliar turned the people of Malabar against the British.

The Battle of Pookottur was the consequence of a blockade laid by the local people on a 125-member British troop, which was on its way to Malappuram from Kozhikode. The Mapilas were armed with knives and swords while the British had guns.

Abdul Razak, history teacher from P.S.M.O. College, Tirurangadi, presented a paper on the sociological aspects of the battle. Abdussamad Pookottur, Sunni youth wing leader, delivered the keynote address.

Abdurahman Karat, chairman of the commemoration committee, welcomed the gathering.

Staff Reporter
The Hindu
August 27, 2009

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