ISSUR: The retaliation to Issur’s rebellion wasn’t just bloody but painful. As the arrival of the British Army was announced in Issur, most of the freedom fighters took shelter in nearby jungles leaving only women and elders in the village.
The military was greeted by a deserted village. The atrocities meted out by the marauding army were heart wrenching as even the women and young girls were not spared. Women were raped and their houses were torched. The houses of landlords in the village, including of Sahukar Bashenneppa, were raided too.
The week-long operation led to seizure of money and gold, arrest of several minors and women from Issur and sentencing to death of 20 people. Five of them were sent to the gallows, some were spared as they were minors and the rest were sent to languish in Bengaluru central jail.
Gurappa Kammar, Jinahalli Mallappa, Suryanarayanachar, Badakalli Halappa and Shakrappa Gouda were hanged between August 8 and 10, 1943. The rest of the menfolk from Issur continued their struggle by motivating people from surrounding villages to fight the Raj.
The efforts and the martyrdom didn’t go in vain. Five years later, India got its independence and the fighters of Issur finally went home. A grand welcome was arranged by the people of Shivamogga on the occasion. A picture taken in front of the jail remains the lone testament to the glorious struggle of Issur.