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Tirur Railway Station Removes Wagon Tragedy Mural Painting After Protests from Right-wing Outfits

The 1921 Wagon Tragedy took place during the Mappila rebellion in Malabar against British rulers and Hindu landlords. Ninety Muslim rebels were arrested and sent to Podanur prison in Coimbatore in a windowless freight wagon, leading to least 60 of them being suffocated to death.

Asheem PK | CNN-News18

Updated:November 9, 2018, 6:29 PM IST
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Tirur Railway Station Removes Wagon Tragedy Mural Painting After Protests from Right-wing Outfits
A wall near the ticket counter at Tirur station was painted to depict the 1921 incident but the mural was removed within two days.
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Malappuram: A newly made mural depicting the historic Wagon Tragedy was removed from Kerala’s Tirur Railway Station following complaints from fringe right-wing outfits, stoking a fresh controversy in the state.

On Saturday, a wall near the ticket counter at Tirur station was painted to depict the 1921 incident as part of the railway’s beautification programme. However, it was removed within two days. Critics allege the painting was erased after the railways succumbed to pressure from right-wing outfits.

Lashing out at the Railways for removing the painting, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the decision amounted to insulting the struggle.

“The mural was made as part of the beautification work at the station. But railway authorities have decided to remove it because of opposition from Sangh Parivar. It is not difficult to understand the opposition of RSS to this painting. RSS is in general allergic to the memories of Indian Independence struggle,” Vijayan wrote on Facebook.

The chief minister further said the RSS had no role in the struggle and hated its “golden chapters”.

The southern railway officials, meanwhile, denied the claims and said there was no pressure to remove the murals. “The murals were removed as they were not in line with the railway’s beautification instructions. A lot of people, including public representatives, had approached us saying the murals can give rise to a sense of fear among people,” says MK Gopinath, public relations officer, Palghat railway division.

The 1921 Wagon Tragedy took place during the Mappila rebellion in Malabar against British rulers and Hindu landlords. Ninety Muslim rebels were arrested and sent to Podanur prison in Coimbatore in a windowless freight wagon, leading to least 60 of them being suffocated to death.

Apart from the Wagon Tragedy murals, the legacy of Thunchath Ezhuthachan – the 16th century Malayam devotional poet – has also been painted at Tirur railway station.

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