New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) The iconic war memorial at a roundabout near Teen Murti Bhavan in Delhi was on Sunday renamed Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk to pay homage to the Indian soldiers who fell in the battle of Haifa — now in Israel — during World War I.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara, who arrived here on a six-day trip — attended a solemn ceremony at the Teen Murti Memorial to mark the formal renaming of the roundabout near the Teen Murti Bhavan, which was the official residence of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Modi tweeted that he and Netanyahu “paid tributes to the brave Indian soldiers who fought at Haifa” and “laid down their lives during the liberation of the city”, the third largest in Israel.
“The spot where we commemorate their sacrifice will now be called Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk,” he wrote. “This year we mark 100 years of the end of the First World War. We remember with pride, the Indian soldiers who fought valiantly in the war.”
The two leaders laid a wreath and signed the visitor’s book at the memorial.
“One of these pages was written 100 years ago, in the sacrifice of Indian soldiers at Haifa. The sacrifice commemorated at Teen Murti observes its centenary. Naming this spot as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk marks this historic occasion. In the presence of the Prime Minister of Israel, we pay homage to the brave soldiers,” Modi wrote in the visitor’s book.
The war memorial – originally called the Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade Memorial — was unveiled in March 1924 in honour of cavalry troopers of princely states in British India.
The three stone and bronze statues represent the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who were part of the 15 Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade who fought for the liberation of Haifa from German and Ottoman (Turkish) soldiers on September 23, 1918.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the memorial was renamed “in memory of supreme sacrifice by Indian soldiers to liberate Haifa in 1918”.