Secret tunnel found under Assembly building; Delhi government to refurbish
A mysterious tunnel-like structure, which was discovered at the Delhi Legislative Assembly, is in the news again. News agency ANI posted fresh pictures of the tunnel on Friday. The secret passage connects the Assembly building to the iconic Red Fort, which is located nearly 5.5 kilometers away, according to Delhi Legislative Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel. Here's what we know about it.
Tunnel path destroyed due to metro projects, sewers
"When I became an MLA in 1993, there was hearsay about a tunnel present here that goes till Red Fort and I tried to search for its history. But there was no clarity over it," Goel told ANI. He said they cannot dig the tunnel further as path has been destroyed due to metro projects and sewer installations.
Here are some pictures of the tunnel
A tunnel-like structure discovered at the Delhi Legislative Assembly. "It connects to the Red Fort. There is no clarity over its history, but it was used by Britishers to avoid reprisal while moving freedom fighters," said Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel (2.09) pic.twitter.com/OESlRYik69— ANI (@ANI) September 2, 2021
Goel said it will be renovated by next year
Goel further said there was once a gallows room at the Assembly building, adding that would be renovated and opened for public. He said the work will be completed by the next Independence Day (August 15, 2022). "This place has a very rich history...We intend to renovate it in a way that tourists and visitors can get a reflection of our history."
Goel says tunnel was used to ferry freedom fighters
Goel said he believes the tunnel was used by the British to ferry freedom fighters to the building to execute them. "It was used by British to avoid reprisal while moving freedom fighters." However, there is no confirmation about his theory. It is also possible the tunnel belonged to some other period or simply served as a cellar beneath the building.
Historian says tunnel could belong to an earlier period
However, historian William Dalrymple had earlier disapproved of Goel's theory, according to a 2016 BBC report. "The British had military control, they could drive prisoners through the streets without any fear," he had said. Dalrymple speculated the tunnel dated back to the era of the 1857 war. "This tunnel may well be a grisly reminder of that moment," he had told the BBC.