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Vellore freedom fighters decide to boycott I-Day events

The state level association planned an agitation in the districts as other than pension, the government had not done anything else for the tyagis.

VELLORE: Members of the TN Freedom Fighters and Successors Association has reportedly decided to boycott government functions to commemorate the nation’s 75th Independence Day.

Sources said, the association’s Vellore district branch secretary J Rajendra Babu said, “We have been forced to take this decision due to subordinate officials in the Collectorate refusing to understand our plight and position.”

In a letter dated August 9, Rajendra Babu informed Collector Kumaravel Pandian that association members would neither participate in the Independence Day celebrations nor in the grievances day meet scheduled to be held on August 12.

Sources revealed that freedom fighters were aggrieved that they were treated shabbily by officials. “The routine grievances day for freedom fighters was stopped for two years due to the pandemic and when we approached the deputy collector concerned about resuming the practice the latter refused to heed our request and haughtily informed us that officials knew what to do,” Rajendra Babu said.

The next issue to peeve them was a pictorial exhibition of freedom fighters, which was held in the Periyar Park, noted local freedom fighters like VM Obaidullah and former congress MP Jeevarathinam Mudaliar were left out while less prominent names were included.

When we raised this issue with officialdom, the Collectorate PRO asked us to provide PDF issue of all local leaders for an exhibition inside the Collectorate and when we collated all needed information we were not informed about the inauguration, which was done by Collector Pandian, said Rajendra Babu.

“The state level association planned an agitation in the districts as other than pension, the government had not done anything else for the tyagis. It was then that we were informed over phone on August 9 (Muharram) about the grievances day for freedom fighters on August 12. We informed the Tahsildar that we needed at least a week’s notice for members to arrange for an attendant to travel with them. As this fell on deaf ears we conveyed the Collector that we have decided to boycott both the official celebrations and the grievances day function,” Rajendra Babu added.

The officials concerned were not available for comment.

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