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Statue of Saheed Major Durga Malla to be installed at Jaigaon Super Market, Alipurdwar on 13th April

Major Durga Malla was the first Gorkha soldier in Indian National Army to sacrifice his life for the cause of Indian independence. Malla was born in July 1913 at Doiwala near Dehradun. He was the eldest son of Nb Sub Ganga Malla. In 1930, when Mahatma Gandhi was leading the countrymen for Independence through Dandi March, Malla was a student in class nine. Though he was young, he caught everybody’s attention by his outbursts in public against the British. In 1931, when he was 18 years old, he moved to Dharamsala and got enrolled in 2/1 Gorkha Rifles. His patriotism brought him close to the Indian National Army of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

In 1942, Malla joined INA. His devotion to duty coupled with other skills elevated him to the rank of a Major in INA and he was asked to work in the intelligence wing of the INA. When he was collecting information about the enemy camps, he was caught in action at Kohima on 27 March 1944. He was given death sentence by the Court of Trial at Red Fort, New Delhi. However, before the death sentence was finally executed, the authorities tried to coerce Major Durga Malla into admitting to sedition. His wife was brought to the prison cell but Malla did not succumb to the pressure. "The sacrifice I am offering shall not go in vain. India will be free. I am confident. This is only a matter of time, Sharda! Don’t worry, crores of Hindustanis are with you," Malla told his wife. Those were his last words to his wife.

Malla was married to Sharda Malla of Shyam Nagar, Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh in 1941. Just three days after marriage, Malla was recalled to his headquarters and directed to go abroad. He next met his wife only before his hanging at Delhi District Jail. In 1944, Major Durga Malla was sent to the gallows.

To honour Malla, a statue donated by Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, a national body of Indian Gorkhas, was unveiled at the Parliament House Complex by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2004. Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Lok Sabha Speaker Som Nath Chatterjee and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. 25 August, the day of his hanging is observed as Balidan Diwas, or Martyrs' Day, by Gorkhas across India.

- Source : Darjeeling Hills FB Page

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