Tree Arrested 1898 by British official. In 1898,A Banyan tree in Pakistan’s Khyber Agency, located in Landi Kotal army cantonment area, was arrested in 1898 for allegedly attempting to attack a British official.But ever heard of a tree being arrested and can you imagine the reason?
The story goes like this: During the days of the British Empire in Indian subcontinent, a drunk British army officer named James Squid saw an old banyan tree and thought that it was coming towards him.In a state of drunkenness, Squid ordered a soldier to arrest the tree immediately. To this day, it stands fettered and forlorn in the Landi Kotal army cantonment area, with a board hanging on it that reads.He also said that current authorities should now release the banyan from its long captivity, and deemed the ‘arrest’ of a tree as “unethical.”
The location of the tree is far from random. Landi Kotal, situated in the historic Khyber Pass, has witnessed the jostle of multiple empires as they fought for the remote, rich expanses of the Hindukush. Harsh socio-political imprints left behind by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Timur, and the British are dispersed throughout the craggy defiles. And now, these tribal areas are trapped in the midst of another vortex, the ‘war on terror.’
“The main problem in the tribal areas is the FCR, promulgated by Raj in 1901. It is still in practice,” said Kamal, adding that the people of Fata are being ruled under an unfair set of rulesIt’s often said that truth is stranger than fiction. And this stands absolutely true in case of this poor tree in Pakistan. You would have heard people being arrested for breaking laws or committing crimes Even 65 years after British colonial rule came to an end, the tree’s punishment continues. Its chains are as unrelenting as its punishment