LEGEND OF THE UNDERGROUND OF ARF DASHNAKTSUTYUN – 2015-3

A remarkable document on the revolutionary activity of Avetis Gharibyan (Padvali Vagho)

Summary 

Gevorg S. Khudinyan

Key words – Padvali Vagho, underground, Alexandropol, Police Department, Ministry of Justice, military weapons, ammunition, shells, search, sack, investigation.

The publication provides a detailed report on the unsuccessful attempt of investigation by imperial police department and the Ministry of Justice toward a resident of Alexandropol (Gyumri) – Avetis Gharibyan in 1891-1892, we’ve also attached data taken from the Russian State Archive, with interpretations of the notes and explanations.

At the beginning of February 1891 as a result of denunciation by his own neighbor – Greek Alexander Abramov, Avetis Gharibyan faced a prosecution, as his booth (basement) was searched and some evidences of guilt were found (combat arms and ammunition), so it seemed there was no way to avoid punishment. But with the ingenuity that is inherent to the inhabitants of Gyumri, Avetis could take all the necessary steps that changed the course of the investigation. First he appeared before the court as a victim, who was slandered, and the prosecutor was presented as offender, whose statements were false. The fact that the witnesses were directed against the informer himself and the strong evidences were presented as a result of his machinations, and finally, notes that were stored at the informer’s and the testimony of the authors were again turned against the Greek, say that behind the legendary the figure was standing not only the organization of the ARF in Alexandropol, but also the aspiring citizens of Gyumri, who were always ready to defend their fellow countryman who was persecuted for “Sacred Cause”.

Though “The Report” compiled by the Ministry of Justice on September 5, 1892 has passed through all the punitive jurisdictions of tsarist Russia it states that under the pressure of the arguments and evidences of his friends the administrative authorities have been forced to discontinue the investigation.

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