In the world of weird criminal charges, we often come across things that have absolutely no logic.But a banyan tree cuffed in chains for an absolutely ridiculous reason, beats all those lists.
A Banyan tree in Landi Kotal army cantonment near the border of Afghanistan, an area now in Pakistan, sits shackled in chains, with a board that reads ‘I am under arrest.’
"‘I AM UNDER ARREST.’
One evening a British officer, heavily drunk, thought that I was moving from my original location and ordered Mess Sergeant to arrest me. Since then I am under arrest’"
This ‘fettered’ tree has been under arrest in Pakistan’s Khyber Agency for a 100 years. Back in 1898, this banyan tree was ‘arrested’ on the orders of a British Army officer named James Squid when he imagined that the tree was lurching behind him and that’s when he arrested it... Hundred and eighteen years later, the tree’s punishment continues. It is still tied with a chain, probably to make sure that it doesn’t try to escape.
As a punishment for moving from its place, the British officer ordered the mess sergeant to arrest the tree.
But, that’s not all, this illogical act by the Britisher officer back in the day, has a darker meaning.
The Tribune reports, this act by British officer James Squid, was a way of threatening the tribal people. A resident of the army cantonment, Amran Shinwari told the paper, ‘Through this act, the British basically implied to the tribesmen that if they dared act against the Raj, they too would be punished in a similar fashion.”
What ever the reason was, the captive tree has made the area a popular tourist destination today. Even today the tree stands chained with a board hanging from its branches that read “I am under arrest”.
An absolutely bizarre and weird thing right !