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What you should know about TMC’s July 21 Martyrs’ day rally

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Kolkata, July 20: Trinamool Congress's July 21 Martyrs' day rally, which comes in the backdrop of the party's reverses in the Lok Sabha polls, will be different in many ways this year. Party workers from every corners of the state have started flocking to Kolkata from Friday to attend the TMC's annual Martyrs' Day rally that is to be addressed by party supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Reportedly, to accommodate these workers, the party has set up four major camps across the city - Gitanjali Stadium in south Kolkata, Central Park in Salt Lake, Uttirna in Alipore and Khudiram Anushilan Kendra in central Kolkata.

What you should know about TMC’s July 21 Martyrs’ day rally

Most of these party workers had come from North Bengal's Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, and Malda districts. The party workers are being provided with food and accommodation facilities. On Sunday, they will be taken to Esplanade in buses, which have been arranged by the party. A local TMC leader confirms that on Sunday more workers from Murshadabad, Birbhum, Purulia and Bankura will arrive.

Amid this, TMC's Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien along with the party's other Parliamentary delegations have been detained at Varanasi airport today morning. All of these leaders were on their way to meet the injured in hospital and meet and give confidence to the grieving families in Sonbhadra.

Significance of TMC's July 21 Martyrs' day rally:

The 21st July 'Martyr's Day Rally' is an annual mass rally organized by the All India Trinamool Congress to commemorate the 1993 Kolkata firing as Martys' Day.

It is in remembrance of thirteen people shot by the West Bengal Police in Kolkata, during a rally by the West Bengal Youth Congress under Mamata Banerjee on 21 July 1993, while demanding Voter's Identity Card to be made sole required document for voting to put a stop to CPM's "scientific rigging".

Mamata Banerjee, then West Bengal State President of Youth Congress along with other eminent leaders of the party, had organised 'Writers Chalo Abhiyan' (march towards Writers Building) demanding that the voters identity card be made the only valid document to verify voters in order to put a stop to rampant scientific rigging. Suddenly, he police force started beating up the crowd mercilessly in order to drive them away from the vicinity of Writers Building. The Youth Congress supporters who were peacefully rallying with her refused to stop and walked ahead. Many rounds of teargas shells were fired but the supporters kept moving forward.

The place turned into a battle ground. People started running across Curzon Park. The police opened fire, killing thirteen supporters and leaving hundreds severely injured.

Since then, an annual rally is held on this day every year, dedicated to the memory of these thirteen martyrs.

This firing incident was a turning point in the political career of Mamata Banerjee, who was also injured in the incident. She already was a rising figure in the state politics then, and also had public sympathy as well. In 21st July anniversary of the incident also became the largest yearly public rally of the party and Mamata amassed a huge youth following to become an important opposition leader then. Apparently, she formed All India Trinamool Congress in 1997, which formed state government in 2011.

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