Here is an example of how shabbily we tend to treat our martyrs! Even in building a memorial in the name of a martyr, all kinds of considerations apparently creep in.
On July 26, 2010, suspected militants of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Ranjan Daimary faction) ambushed a patrol party of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Assistant commandant Kishor Kunal of Patna was among four killed on the spot. His last rites were performed with state honours in the state capital.
The distraught family, having lost a young, dynamic member, wanted the naming of a park in ward number 34, behind Panch Shiv Mandir, after the martyr. The locals of Indira Nagar, Postal Park locality and family members moved a proposal to the Patna municipal corporation (PMC) and the urban development minister.
At the 23rd general body meeting on January 3, 2012, the PMC board unanimously approved the proposal. On August 17, a notification was also issued, following which the board sanctioned R8.14 lakh for the renovation of the park, raising hopes that the martyr would get the respect he so richly deserved.
But when the executive engineer Lalan Singh ordered work to be started, it was allegedly stopped.
“When labourers were sent to the park for cleaning on August 2, 2012, Jagdish Sharma, MP from Jehanabad, and his son, Rahul Kumar Singh, MLA from Ghoshi, stopped them,” the executive engineer wrote to the municipal commissioner the same day in his report, seeking guidelines from his superiors.
Singh further informed the municipal commissioner how the father-son duo told him on phone that “work would not be allowed at any cost”. “They said that the people of the locality had earlier decided to name the park after Swami Shahjanand Saraswati,” wrote the engineer.
Municipal commissioner PK Pal, however, feigned ignorance about it. “I don’t remember what the present status is. I will find out from the engineer and then let you know,” he added. Sharma, when contacted, said he had never raised any objection.
“If the government takes a decision, why should I unnecessarily get into all this. If the executive engineer had any problem, he should have contacted me. It is strange that my name has been involved in all this,” he added. The martyr’s father, Jagdish Thakur, has been running from pillar to post to have a memorial in the name of his son. “Born in an extremely backward family, Kunal did his schooling from Sainik School, Tilaiya, intermediate from Patna Science College, graduation from Patna College and PG from Delhi School of Economics. He joined SSB in 2007. In his prime, he laid down his life fighting for the country,” said Thakur, hoping his son’s martyrdom would be respected in the city where he grew up.