THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The controversy over the proposed Annie Mascrene Square has taken a new turn with the memorial committee spearheading the project alleging that the row over the size of the roundabout was intended to prevent the installation of the statue of the national leader.
The statue is being installed on an under-construction roundabout at Xanadu Junction at Vazhuthacaud.
The Annie Mascrene Smaraka Samithi has protested against what it termed ‘concerted attempts and conspiracy’ to scuttle the ‘Annie Mascrene Square’ project. The samithi leaders told a press conference here on Tuesday that people "who are plotting to insult’’ the freedom fighter should correct their stand.
"Annie Mascrene was not an individual who raised her voice for her community or religion. Trying to insult her because of her religion is total disrespect to this national leader,’’ samithi general convener and Latheen Katholika Aikya Vedi president Advocate A James Fernandez said.
The Samithi’s statements have come in the wake of the BJP planting party flags and banners on the project site. A sign board installed by the Corporation declaring the site as Annie Mascrene Square and another board designating the road leading to her home at Vazhuthacaud as ‘Mascrene Lane’ were removed by some people, the Samithi leaders said.
Some months ago, there were attempts to install the statue of another personage here. When that too has failed, now efforts are on to scuttle the project by citing traffic problems, they said. Bigger roundabouts exist at Poojappura, Vellayambalam, Asan Square, Chackai, G K Junction, Enchakkal and Killipalam. But no one has raised any complaint against them, they said.
The new roundabout will in no way hinder traffic, but will ensure safer travel. An earlier construction was in fact modified to facilitate smoother traffic flow, according to the samithi leaders.