The Battle of Pookkottur

Pookkottur War

On August 20, 1921 a battalion of military started from Kannur via Calicut to Malappuram. This information received by the central committee of khilafat was communicated to their pookkottur unit. The trumpet for war was given. Bold Muslim rebels prepared themselves for a war. Vadakkeveetil Mohammed and Karathu Moideenkutty Haji gave the leadership. They constructed barricades in calicut-Malappuram road by cutting down trees and also destroyed some bridges. But military overcame all these obstructions and reached Aravankara on Aug.25. Since a bridge at pappattungal mosque was destroyed they returned to kondotty. On August 26, Friday military made a temporary bridge using trees meant for construction of a mosque and continued their journey with vehicles.

The rebels consisting of about 2000 in number waited for the military convoy. They hid themselves in the paddy fields between pookkottur and Pilakkal, and in the canal on the East and behind a heap of soil. Apart from the people of pookkotturAmsom, people of podiyadu, Melmuri, Valluvambrum, Pullara, Veembur, Aanakkaayum, panthallur, pandikkad, pappinippara and Malappuram were also there. They put up many barricades in the road.

Military came in 22 Lorries and 25cycles. The rebels strategy was to fire at the first lorry of the military convoy when it reached Pilakkal and then to encircle them from 4 sides. But parancheri kunjarammutty and Ayamu who were out of station did not know this strategy. They reached there only late. Kunjarammutty who was hiding behind the heap of soil fired at the lorry when two or three Lorries just reached the paddy field. Hearing the gunshots military Lorries backed out. Soldiers alightened there and threw smoke bombs .Due to smoke rebels couldn’t use their guns properly. Bullets lost their targets. But even then they made heavy causalities to the military. Under the screen of smoke military set machine guns to fire. When the smoke subsided about ten soldiers walked on the road by foot towards Pilakkal. Without knowing that this was a trap bold Muslim rebels eagerly came forward to capture them .Soldiers suddenly turned back and hid behind the machine guns and started firing. All the rebels who followed them were killed. This was tried two times and military killed a number of Muslims. Kunjarammutty and Ayamu who fired the first shots came out when their100 bullets were over and became martyrs. Pookkottur hero Shri.Vadakkeveetil Mohammed also was killed. The war continued for more than 3 hours and 400 people became martyrs. All of them died due to bullet injuries on their chest. This shows their abundant courage and spirit to fight the foreign occupation. Their biggest weapons were self prestige and firm belief.

After the war military went to Malappuram. In the front military lorry police supdt. Berstan Lancaster and 4 soldiers were traveling. At kummalippadi a Muslim soldier Mankara Thodiyil Kunjahmmed climbed upon a tree and threw a grenade into the lorry in which police supdt and soldiers were traveling. Lancaster and soldiers were killed. The Muslim soldier who had tied himself to the tree was shot dead by the military. The military which won the war put fire on all the houses on the road side. 60 dead bodies were put on fire by them in the compound of Cherukappil Moosa kutty.

After the war was over people went to the battleground and took the dead bodies and buried them. A number of encounters occurred afterwards at Mongam, konompara, Vallluvambram, Pothuvettippara, Melmuri etc. Military captured and took away a number of people. Some where hanged, some were sent to Andaman’s and some where sent to Salem,Bellary and Trichirappilli jails. .Villages were levied heavy fines.

The sacrifice of the people in this violent war against British colonialism still continues to be an inspiration and self respect to the young generation.

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