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Tripura govt razes war column in Agartala city; sparks reactions

The hybrid concept of western world is trying to establish here in the name of beautification and most unwanted things are being implemented in Agartala

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Agartala: Sudden removal of war memorial of 1971 Bangladesh liberation war from the heart of Agartala, where Indians had begun to protest against the atrocities of Pakistani Army in the then East Pakistan, has sparked off reactions in cross-sections of Tripura.
Besides, opposition political parties leading historians, intellectuals, poets, writers and social activists raised voice against the move of Agartala Smart City Mission demanding to reinstall the war memorials and other bring back the historical monuments of the city immediately, which the BJP-IPFT government destroyed in three years.
The activists of Tripura Cultural Coordination Committee lashed out at the activities of Smart City Mission and alleged that more than Rs 700 crore have been invested for destroying the heritage of the city’s socio-cultural icons in the name of making the city smart. The natural beauty of Agartala has been killed in the name of smart city and violating high court orders water-bodies were turned into cemented tanks.
“The hybrid concept of western world is trying to establish here in the name of beautification and most unwanted things are being implemented in Agartala, which doesn’t have any link with the state rather it’s a desperate move to erase the heritage and cultural history of Tripura,” alleged noted poet and intellectual Ratul Debbarma.
He rued that acting on a misplaced priority, and the memorial of Bangladesh liberation war martyrs column pulled down I Post Office Chowmuhani and shifted to Albert Ekka park in the northern part of the city. It has been a part of the tradition of post-statehood Tripura and it has also been a major landmark of Agartala city for 50 years.
“Removing such a historic symbol from a hallowed place is a highly objectionable and reprehensible act and it should be reversed; this government is destroying the history, tradition and culture of Tripura and this should be stopped immediately. We shall not allow it” said another intellectual and veteran journalist Subal Kumar Dey.
He said when East Pakistani people retaliated against the Army to get liberation, with the direction of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi hundreds of people of Tripura assembled in Post Office Chowmuhani and extended India’s formal support to the liberation army. Gradually, the place had turned to a war yard and several initiatives and planning were made from this place in 1971.
To respect the sentiment of the Bangladesh Liberation movement, War Column was installed by the government. The state government has been paying floral tribute to the freedom fighters on January 26 and August 15. But suddenly, the administration without any notice pulled down the column and began new construction of some other modern sculpture in the place from yesterday.
In last year a battle tank donated by the Indian army as a memento for the victory in 1971 war had been similarly removed to Albert Ekka park. The historical water-bodies of College Tilla of the city have been deshaped and concretised, alleged Dey adding, “These all are for siphoning funds by destroying the history and heritage in the name of Smart City. The mission was attempted to protect the history and culture of Tripura by adding relevant components but it’s going reversed.”

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