Anant Laxman Kanhere
(1892 – 1910) – (Maharashtra)
Anant Laxman Kanhere (Aged 18) was born on January 7, 1892 in Aayani (Anjani), Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra, India. He was an Indian independence fighter, born in a Brahmin family. On December 21, 1909, he shot the Collector of Nashik in British India. The murder of Jackson was a significant event in the history of Nashik and the Indian revolutionary movement in Maharashtra.
After staying with his brother for some time, Anant returned to Aurangabad in 1908 and rented a room in Gangaram Rupchand Shroff’s house. Gangaram had a friend named Tonpe from Yewale, who was a member of the secret society of Nashik. Anant became acquainted with Vaidya, who went with Gangaram to purchase weapons for the Nashik Secret Society.
Anant later wrote a novel ‘Mitra Prem’ about the friendships he developed during this time. Anant came in contact with the members of secret revolutionary groups and was attracted to their work. Nashik was at the forefront of the formation of the revolutionary organization Abhinav Bharat Society by the Savarkar Brothers. Jackson, a British officer, was aware of these activities and started mixing with people, unlike other British officers, and made an image of himself as a people-friendly officer.
People in Nashik arranged a farewell for Jackson at the Vijayanand theatre in Nashik and staged the drama Sangeet Sharada in his honor. Anant decided this was the time to execute their plan. He took responsibility for killing Jackson and decided to commit suicide by poison to avoid capture and save his other partners. On December 21, 1909, after Jackson had arrived to see the play, Anant jumped in front of him and fired four bullets at him from a Browning pistol, killing Jackson immediately.
Anant Kanhere was 18 years old at the time and admitted his part in the killing. The judgement in the case was given by the Chief Justice of Bombay on March 29, 1910. He was prosecuted in Bombay court and hanged in the Thane Prison, Maharashtra, India, on April 19, 1910, just four months after Jackson was killed. A Marathi film entitled “1909” about Anant Kanhere and Collector Jackson was released on January 10, 2014.