A 60-year-old library set up by yesteryear Malayalam actor Prem Nazir in Chirayinkeezhu panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram was set on fire by miscreants on Saturday morning.
Prem Nazir had built the library in 1958 as a token of honour to his native village. Police have registered a fire occurrence case and are investigating.
It is not immediately clear what the motive behind the arson was. The incident has caused widespread outrage in the panchayat, and a protest march and demonstration was organised by the locals. The protest meeting was inaugurated by Deputy Speaker V Sashi.
Speaking at the meeting, Sashi condemned the incident and said that the culprits should be brought before the law. He also added that all assistance needed to rebuild the library and to install advanced facilities will be given to the Chirayinkeezhu panchayat.
The meeting and the protest march was also attended by the panchayat president R Subhash. Speaking to TNM, he said that the incident has angered the panchayat and its people, and strict action will be taken against the culprits.
“This incident has angered us. We have conducted protest meetings and marches. This library was built in 1958 and it is almost 60 years old. There were thousands of books which are all burnt now. The meeting was a huge success; a lot of people and some local literary figures also joined in the meeting,” said Subhash.
He also added that deputy speaker had promised all assistance needed to rebuild the library.
“We are determined to rebuild the library and the deputy speaker while speaking at the meeting has promised all assistance to do so. The funds for renovation has also been arranged and we are planning to invest on modern facilities in the library,” Subhash added.
A police official confirmed, “A case has been registered under fire occurrence. The forensic department has collected evidence to conduct tests. Further progress in the investigation will happen only after the forensic results are out.”
The investigation is being carried out under the supervision of Chirayinkeezhu SI VK Sreejesh.