Jayalalithaa makes announcement in Assembly

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announced that a memorial would be built for the 18th century freedom fighter Dheeran Chinnamalai at Sankagiri Fort, where he was hanged by the British.

Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government decided to build a memorial following a request made in the Assembly by AIADMK member Vijayalakshmi Palanisamy on March 30.

The Chief Minister said when the British had realised that it would be difficult to defeat him in war, they resorted to treachery to arrest him and hanged him at the Sankagiri Fort.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the AIADMK government had been honouring freedom fighters by constructing manimandapams, erecting statues and naming government buildings after them.

A separate transport corporation was created in the name of Dheeran Chinnamalai when MGR was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and she granted permission for installing the statue of the Chinnamalai, who became a nightmare to the British in the Kongu region of the State. Ms. Jayalalithaa herself donated Rs 1 lakh towards meeting the expenses of the statue.

In 1995, Dheeran Chinnamalai memorial day was observed in Kangeyam and his descendants were honoured. A district was also created in his name during her regime. In 2003, she issued an order for observing his death anniversary as a government function at his birth place Oodanilai in Erode district.

“I inaugurated a manimandapam at a cost of Rs 30 lakh at his birth place in 2006,” the Chief Minister said.

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