Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why a Banyan Tree in Pakistan is under arrest and chained from last 100 Years?

The world is a bizarre place and we frequently come across weird stuff that has completely no logic. You must have heard the tales about human beings tied up as a punishment for doing something bad but let me tell you a unique story about a tree that is “Under Arrest”. A banyan tree in Pakistan, locked in chains, beats all those lists of odd news that you hear daily. It is not only the strangest things to notice, but the story behind it is also something you have never heard. 

Landi Kotal is the western most part of the Khyber Agency that usually scripts the doorway to Afghanistan. It was detained by the British during their law of the subcontinent. In 1897 the Afridis attacked Landi Kotal and other areas in the Khyber Pass. The Banyan tree is situated in the town’s army cantonment in the North West ethnic district of Pakistan called FATA. The tree was captured by a British administrator. This banyan tree is very gigantic in structure, pretty long and has bottomless roots and branches. The gigantic sized tree acts as a shield, and protects from hot sun.  If you enter Pakistan's Landi Kotal cantonment area, be prepared to be puzzled by a strange scene. A tree is in cuffs and manacles to avoid it from moving, a reason many of you would find illogical. In reality it has a deep-seated narrative.

The tree was captured in 1898, which is about more than a century ago, when a British army administrator, James Squid, under the effect of alcohol, thought that the tree was moving towards him. The officer was scared from the tree’s effort and so wanted to teach a lesson to the criminal. In order to stop the tree from moving, the British officer planned the mess sergeant to take the tree into custody. The criminal tree was chained, most probably to discontinue it from doing the wrong act, and remains chained till today, 70 years after the end of British grand rule.

According to some residents, this work was done for threatening reasons, as the British indirectly warned the locals that they would be similarly treated if they went against the Law. Whatever the cause may be, the tree in custody has made the region famous among people who come to have a look at this strange sight. This scene has now become a traveler attraction.

A board is hanging on it, which says:  "I AM UNDER ARREST.’ ‘One evening a deeply drunk British officer thought that I was moving towards him from my original location and so ordered Mess Sergeant to arrest me. That is why I am under arrest’ More than 100 years have passed, this banyan tree remains in custody: punished, fixed to its soil, and gripped in chains.

Source: Khaleej Times

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