MALAPPURAM: Within days of its completion, the painting at Tirur Railway station depicting the Wagon Tragedy of 1921 was erased by the Railways. It is said the Railways, which had got the painting done as part of the beautification work of the Tirur railway station, was forced to withdraw its move following complaints from Sangh Parivar organisations.
Sources with BJP said the party’s Tirur constituency committee had submitted a complaint with the Railways Palakkad Division authorities in this regard.The painting was drawn inside the railway station in the honour of Mappila rebels who died of suffocation inside a wagon. The Wagon Tragedy and Thunchath Ezhuthachan’s legacy had been the themes for the paintings at the Tirur railway stations as part of its beautification.
The painting work was finished by Friday. However, on Monday it was erased after the station authorities received an urgent message from the Palakkad Division.An officer with the division said the painting was erased as it failed to envisage the spirit of the beautification theme.
“The Palakkad Division office received a few phone calls complaining against the painting. Higher authorities had also sought an explanation from the division in this regard,” said the officer.
Rlys’ action condemned
Tirur MLA C Mammootty condemned the Railways’ decision to erase the Wagon Tragedy painting, saying the act disrespected martyrs and freedom fighters. “This is a clear case of injustice towards history. Historical facts cannot be erased by force,” he said.
The Wagon Tragedy took place on November 21, 1921. Around 100 Mappila rebels arrested from Malappuram were herded into a windowless goods wagon at the station. They were being taken to Coimbatore. However, when the wagon reached Podanur station, 67 rebels were found dead due to suffocation. The Tirur municipality later set up a memorial for Wagon Tragedy martyrs at the town hall.