A secret tunnel underneath the Delhi Legislative Assembly, connecting the building to the Red Fort was rediscovered on Thursday, 2 September. The tunnel was used by the British to transport freedom fighters without encountering any reprisals.
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
Delhi Legislative Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said he had heard rumours about a secret passageway ever since he became an MLA in 1993. He added that although there is no clarity with regard to the history of the tunnel, it was used by the British to move Indian freedom fighters without encountering any obstacles.
Goel said although the origin of the tunnel has been identified, no further digging will take place “as all the paths of the tunnel have been destroyed due to metro projects and sewer installations”.
He also added that the tunnel would be refurbished soon and hoped that it can be opened to the public by 15 August next year.
However, social media speculations have not died down over the secret tunnel. Many have pointed out a story done by the BBC in 2016 that explored the mysterious tunnel.
The story by correspondent Justin Rowlatt had talked about the underground passageway. Rowlatt had quoted Goel in his story as well.
The assembly building, built in 1912, was later believed to serve as a secret courtroom after the parliament was shifted to newer buildings. The tunnel was used by the British to ferry political prisoners and freedom fighters to the courtroom while avoiding detection.
However, historian William Dalrymple had disproved the theory earlier, claiming that the British could easily transport prisoners without the need for a secret passageway, since they “had military control”. He added that the tunnel could actually date back to the Revolt of 1857, saying it could be “a grisly reminder of that moment, this great anti-colonial uprising that was put down with unbelievable severity”.