Tiruchirapalli

Memorial for martyrs nears completion

The memorial under construction.

The memorial under construction.  

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It is being constructed in memory of 44 victims of massacre at Kilvenmani

A memorial at Kilvenmani for 44 victims of massacre belonging to Scheduled Caste community, by henchmen of an intermediate caste, has fructified much to the relief of 67-year-old Sethupathi and a few other survivors narrating the tale of gory happening on the night of December 25, 1968.

‘I was a 15-year-old boy when the massacre in which three members of my family perished took place,’ Sethupathi said.

Most of the victims were children and women. The oldest victim was aged 70 years and the youngest just three years.

‘Looking back, I am joyous about the completion of the structure but then I have learnt to shed rancour towards those responsible for the incident. I am still at a loss to understand if hatred of such a magnitude could arise in the minds of the then landlords against workers who had only fought against suppression,’ Sethupathi who runs errands for workmen involved in construction of the memorial said.

‘Almost all construction work in the memorial, created with ₹ 3.5 crore, and mobilised by the working class, is over. Only 10 % of the work remains,’ Seenumani, Nagapattinam district unit secretary of Centre of Indian Trade Unions, who oversees the work, said.

The idea for creating the structure of a huge banana flower atop the memorial and 14 smaller ones around was borrowed from the Bhagat Singh Memorial in Punjab, Mr. Seenumani said.

‘Vazyayadi Vazhai’ signifies the capability of a new banana tree to emerge from the chopped roots even years later. The compound wall is adorned by concrete shapes of 44 clenched fists, he said.

After completing the work on the memorial that would have a meeting hall in the ground floor and a meditation hall in the first floor, greenscaping of a space in the frontage would be undertaken. At a little distance, a dormitory type building will be constructed for the convenience of party cadre attending meetings in the facilities created at the memorial.

The 51st Martyrs Day observed on Tuesday was kept as a low-key affair. K. Balakrishnan, State president of CPI (M); G. Ramakrishnan, Politburo Member, CPI (M) Central Committee; A. Soundarrajan, CITU State president; G. sukumaran, CITU State Secretary; and P. Shanmugam, State secretariat member, paid homage at the house located close to the memorial in which the victims were locked up and burnt to death.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:36:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/memorial-for-martyrs-nears-completion/article30396681.ece

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