Agartala: Following severe public demand, the BJP–led government in Tripura has decided to continue the construction work to establish an English medium school in the premises of Agartala Central Jail, a heritage site, here.
The construction work for the proposed English medium school in the jail premises was started during the previous Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government in the state. However, soon after the change of guard in the state, the fate of the much-awaited school was in jeopardy as the new BJP-led government in Tripura was yet to react on the fate of the proposed project.
Clarifying their stand, while talking with the EastMojo, state education minister Ratan Lal Nath said, “The school is being built at a separate place from the main structure of the old central jail. We know people have memories with this heritage site so our government will definitely respect the sentiments of the people.”
The jail, considered as a heritage site in the state, was built by King Bir Chandra Manikya Bahadur in the year 1847.
The first chief minister of the state Sachindra Lal Singha and Congress stalwart Hari Ganga Basak were imprisoned in this jail during the British rule. In the days of Emergency in 1975, the former chief minister Samir Ranjan Barman, including the then Congress legislator Tapas Dey, ex-CM Nripen Chakraborty and Dasarath Deb were also detained in this jail.
Speaking about the historical importance of the jail site, Tripura Congress spokesperson Tapas Dey said, “The Agartala Central Jail is not merely a prison by any stretch of the imagination, but it holds the memories of many political stalwarts of the state, who spent several nights in the jail as prisoners.”
The jail has another distinction. The leader of Bangladesh’s Mukti Bahini Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took shelter in this jail in 1963.
Apart from an English medium school, the people in the state are also demanding construction of a museum and a science complex to preserve the historic legacy of the jail complex.