Robert William Escourt Ashe

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Ashe and his family.
Maniyachi railway station, where Ashe was assassinated (currently renamed as Vanchi Maniyachi after the assassin)

Robert William d'Escourt Ashe I.C.S.[1] (23 November 1872 – 17 June 1911) (Collector Ashe) was the acting Collector and District magistrate of Tirunelveli district[2] during the British Raj.[3] On June 17, 1911, he was assassinated by Vanchinathan at the Maniyachi railway junction (between Tirunelveli and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu)[4] and died within half an hour. His assassin Vanchi alias Sankara Aiyar of Shencotta in Travancore State committed suicide a few minutes after; he was accompanied by a youth named Sankara Krishna Aiyar who ran away, but was afterwards caught and convicted.[2] Ashe was the first and only colonial official to be assassinated in South India during the Indian independence movement.[5] The British government built a memorial for him at Tuticorin in 1913.[6] That memorial is currently in dilapidated condition.[7]

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