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In the Landi Kotal army cantonment area in present-day Pakistan, there is a banyan tree that is kept chained to the ground as if to prevent it from escaping. A board hanging from its branches read, in part: "I am under arrest."

The story goes that in 1898, a British army officer named James Squid, under the influence of alcohol, thought that the tree was lurching towards him. Threatened by the tree, the officer ordered the mess sergeant to arrest it. The mess sergeant followed the officer's orders and chained the offending tree. More than a hundred years later, the tree is still in chains.

“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," a resident of the army cantonment told the Tribune.

tree-under-arrest-1

Photo credit: Shahbaz Butt/Dawn

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.



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