By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Jan. 24: The martyr’s week, during which the nation pays homage to the known and unknown martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the wellbeing of the country and people and their freedom, commenced from Saturday. On the first day of the martyr’s week, a heartfelt tribute was paid to martyr Shukraraj Shastri at Pachali in Teku, where Shastri was executed by the then autocratic Rana regime on January 23, 1941. The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) organised the programme, commemorating the day when Shastri attained martyrdom. At the condolence assembly, people from different walks of life gathered at Teku to pay tribute to martyr Shastri and offered garland to his statue. The programme was a part of the martyr’s week being observed across the country in memory of four martyrs including Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dasrath Chand and Gangalal Shrestha who were executed in January 1941 by autocratic Rana rulers for initiating democratic movement in the country. Paying tribute to martyr Shastri, KMC Mayor Bidhya Sundar Shakya said because of the sacrifice made by the martyrs the country has become a federal democratic republic and the supreme power is held by the people. “They were offered as much property as they wanted by the rulers. But they valued civil liberties and human rights more than personal gains,” he said, adding, “Their contribution will be remembered forever.” Every year, Magh 16 in the Nepali calendar is marked as the National Martyr’s Day, commemorating those who were executed by the autocratic Rana rulers for voicing for people’s rights and those who lost their lives in various movements launched for democracy and people’s sovereignty. Shukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dasharath Chand and Gangalal Shrestha are the four martyrs who sacrificed their lives to free the country from the tyranny of Rana rulers. The then prime minister Juddha Sumsher had announced death penalty for the four martyrs on January 19, 1941. Four days later, martyr Sukraraj was hanged from a tree at Teku, and Dharma Bhakta was hanged at Sifal ground after seven days. Similarly, nine days after the death penalty was announced, Gangalal Shrestha and Darshrath Chand were shot dead on the banks of the Bishnumati River at Sobhabhagawati. The metropolis has erected a life-size statue of all four martyrs in the places where they attained martyrdom. The then Kathmandu Town Panchayat started protecting the site where condolence assembly of Shastri was organised by keeping an epitaph since 2035 BS. Condolence assembly would be organised at Sifal on January 26, where martyr Mathema got martyrdom and Shovabhagawati on January 28, where martyrs Shrestha and Chand got martyrdom. The KMC started to observe Martyr’s Week since 2012 by constituting Martyr’s Week Main Ceremony Committee.