Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday renamed three islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Union Territory in a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, NDTV reported. Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island have been rechristened Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep.
Bose’s Indian National Army, in alliance with the Japanese, had briefly captured the islands from the British during World War II. The iconic freedom fighter raised the Tricolour in Port Blair and took charge of the islands in December 1943, renaming the Andamans “Shahid Dweep [Martyrs’ Island]” and the Nicobars “ Swaraj Dweep [Self-Rule Island]”.
Earlier in the evening, the prime minister visited the Cellular Jail in Port Blair and laid a wreath at the Martyrs’ Column.
“In 1943 Netaji Bose unfurled the Tricolour in Andaman and Nicobar islands,” Modi added. “Today in Port Blair, I had the honour of unfurling the Tricolour to mark the 75th anniversary of Subhas babu’s brave feat. We also reiterate our commitment to creating an India Subhas babu dreamed of.”
In an event in Car Nicobar island, Modi laid the foundation stones for several development projects. “These are projects relating to education, healthcare, skill development, transportation, energy and sports,” he said. The proposed Industrial Training Institute will “greatly benefit youngsters, the prime minister added.
He also paid “homage to those who lost their lives in the unfortunate 2004 tsunami at the Tsunami Memorial in Car Nicobar”.
Modi said the Centre has raised the minimum selling price of copra by Rs 2,000 per quintal and announced that the government is planning to build a trans-shipment port in the Andamans to boost economic growth. The government’s Sagar Mala project will have an “extremely positive impact” on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the prime minister added.