Nasik is believed to be one of the holiest Hindu cities in the world. After every 12 years, the Kumbhmela is held in Nasik which is amongst the only four cities of India where such massive event is held. In the 16th century, Nasik came under the Mughal rule and it was renamed as Gulshanabad. Nasik is also popular for its participation in the freedom struggle of India. In the history of Nasik, the sacrifice made by Anant Kanhere, Vinayak Deshpande and Krishnaji Karve has a glorious chapter. Anant Kanhere was a freedom fighter of India and also a precious gem from Nasik who was an Indian Freedom Struggler.
Anant Laxman Kanhere was born in the year 1981, in Khed Taluka, in the Ratnagiri district. He completed his primary as well as English education in Nizamabad and Aurangabad. After finishing with the studies, he got attracted towards the work done by the members of the secret revolutionary groups. He then came in contact with them and joined the revolutionary movement. At that time, Nasik was at the front position in formation of revolutionary organizations. Several secret revolutionary organizations were established in and around Nasik and were guided by Savarkar Brothers, Babarao Savarkar and many others.
A British officer named as Jackson, was well aware of these secret activities. He then started mixing with the people, talking with them in Marathi for making his image as a friendly British officer. But his intention was to make people realize that they are very safe and good in slavery, so as to suppress the anti-British acts. By the end of 1909, he was supposed to be promoted to Mumbai as a Commissioner. So, a revolutionary group led by Anant Kanhere, Krishnaji Karve and Vinayak Deshpande planned to kill Jackson prior to his transfer to Mumbai. People organized a farewell party for Jackson in Nasik at the Vijayanand theatre and also in his honor, planned a drama. Kanhere thought this was the perfect time to execute their plan for killing Jackson. He then took the whole responsibility for killing him and also decided to commit suicide by taking poison, in order to avoid his partners from getting captured by the police.
Jackson came to watch the play arrange by the people on 21st December 1909. While watching the play Kanhere jumped in front of Jackson and fired four bullets on him. Jackson was immediately killed. One officer from India attacked Kanhere before he could get the poison or shoot himself. Kanhere was just 19 years old at that time and was prosecuted in the Bombay court. On 19th April 1910, just after four months of this incident Kanhere, Karve and Deshpande were hanged in the Thane prison. Their relatives were not present during the execution, and even their bodies were burnt by the prison officers.