PURI: PURI GAJAPATI Dibyasingh Deb on Tuesday felicitated the scions of the Chandan Hajuri, popular as ‘Chakhi Khuntia’ who sacrificed his life for the cause of the freedom by leading the struggle in 1857.
The wheel of Nandighosh rath (the chariot of Lord Jagannath) was presented to the great grandson of Chandan Hajuri. Legend has it that Chakhi was a noted wrestler of the era and had displayed his prowess by lifting a wheel of the Nandighosh rath which is very heavy and is difficult to be lifted by a human being.
The then king impressed with him presented the wheel to Hajuri and issued orders that the wheel be given to him every year after the Rath Yatra. The practice which was stopped since long was again brought alive by the Gajapati. Local MLA Maheswar Mahanty, temple servitors and descendents of Hajuri were present.
Born to a temple servitor family in 1822, Hajuri was actively involved in 1857 movement and was imprisoned and died in 1881. The historians acknowledged his contribution and described him as the first martyr of the freedom movement of the country.