On Tuesday, Nandigram got a 130-foot-tall column, or minar as it is being called. Built on the initiative of the local Trinamool Congress MP, it is a memorial not only to the 14 villagers killed in police firing on March 14, 2007, but also to women assaulted or raped during that movement. And one of those women inaugurated it.
Tears welled up in the eyes of the 52-year-old woman, who had allegedly been gangraped twice. “On March 14, 2007, I was attacked twice by CPM goons,” she says. “My house was burnt and my family members fled. But I have not yet got justice.”
“The rape victim symbolised the torture of the people and their subsequent fight against land grabbing,” Shuvendu Adhikary, Trinamool MP from Tamluk, tells The Indian Express.
- Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah Trust to SC: Ready to give women access to sanctum sanctorum
- Samajwadi Party Crisis: 5 Quotes By Mulayam Singh Yadav At Press Conference
- Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Vs Shivaay: What Delhites Pick
- Supreme Court Directs Vijay Mallya To Fully Disclose Foreign Assets In 4 Weeks
- 5 Reasons To Watch Ae Dil Hai Mushkil
- BSP Supremo Mayawati Criticises PM Modi Over Triple Talaq: Here’s What She Said
- Google Pixel XL Phone Review: Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Says Army donation Is Voluntary
- Rock On 2 Trailer Launch: Farhan Akhtar, Shraddha Kapoor, Prachi Desai On Their Roles
- Cyrus Mistry’s Career Timeline
- Stalker Kills Woman At Metro Station In Gurgaon: Here’s What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 October 24 Review: Seven Contestants Nominated For Evictions
- Power Struggle In Mulayam’s Party: Here’s What People Reacted
- 1 Dead, 5 Injured In Low Intensity Explosion In Delhi’s Naya Bazaar Area
- Delhi: Naya Bazar Explosion Cctv Footage
Among such structures in the state, it is only second to the Shaheed Minar in Kolkata, which is 168 ft. The one in Nandigram has been built at Rs 2.25 crore. Adhikary says what inspired him was the minar at Jalianwala Bagh and the Bhasha Shaeed Minar in Dhaka.
The tower, with 108 steps, is on 45 decimals of land donated by a local party sympathiser. “The money came thorough donations,” the MP says. “Teachers in Nandigram donated salaries for a week. All TMC functionaries from panchayat to zilla parishad to municipalities contributed salaries for one month to three months. I contributed Rs 30 lakh from my allowances as MP.”
Construction started on November 18, 2011. “I broached the idea to Didi (Mamata Banerjee) and she wholeheartedly approved it.”
The minar has an all-religion prayer hall, a free dispensary, and a four-room guesthouse. “No other shaeed minar in India has such features,” says Tapas Kumar Palodhi, the engineer-in-charge. “Shuvendu da said it should not be merely a tower but should have features that should meet the needs of the local people. Doctors are in the dispensary, which has functioned from day one, and we have built their quarters on the premises.”
Adhikary hopes to make it a tourist destination. “We will throw open the staircase and arrange for security at the top,” he says.
For maintenance, a trustee board will be set up. “It was the people of this area who laid down their lives to save their land from Marxist goons.”