Elaborate arrangements made by the police to ensure orderly celebration

The 254 birth anniversary of Veerapandiya Kattabomman, one of the first freedom fighters in India to oppose the British, was celebrated with fervour here on Thursday.

Leaders from various parties like the Congress, AIADMK, MDMK and CPI (M) honoured the historical warrior by garlanding his statue near Periyar bus stand. A large number of youth were seen paying an emotional homage to the leader’s statue, whereas women who visited the statue to garland the leader performed rituals like ‘milk abishekam.’ A few women were seen hugging the statue and wailing over the death of Kattabomman.

Members from “Pazhantamilar Makkal Katchi” staged a demonstration in front of the statue seeking to declare the birth anniversary of Kattabomman a government holiday. G. Venkatachalam, south zone coordinator of the party, and T. Murugan, district secretary, along with at least 50 members, raised slogans against the State government.

The youth wanted the government to install a statue of Kattabomman in Chennai.

R. Annadurai, Madurai South MLA; R. Sundararajan, Madurai Central MLA; Virudhunagar MP Manicka Tagore of the Congress; former Madurai MP A.G.S. Rambabu; A. Deivanayagam, president of Madurai Urban District Congress Committee; K. Boominathan, urban district secretary of MDMK, and Vilavancode MLA S. Vijayadharani were among those who garlanded the statue.

Elaborate arrangements were made by the police to ensure orderly celebration. Kattabomman, a legendary chieftain from Panchalakurichi, fought against the British by refusing to pay tax. He was hanged to death by the British in 1799 at Kayathar in Tuticorin district and now a memorial stands at the place where Kattabomman died.