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Panel to review ‘terror’ tag

The state government on Monday set up a six-member committee to probe the allegation that freedom fighters Khudiram Bose, Jatindranath Mukherjee and Prafulla Chaki had been labelled “terrorists” in the Class VIII history book at Madhyamik schools.

“The panel will seek observations of historians on the matter and find out whether the allegation is true,” education minister Partha Chatterjee said.

Some teachers have pointed out that the activities of the freedom fighters had been described as “extremism and terrorism” in the book.

“I have not received any complaint,” said Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the administrator of the state secondary board.

The Mamata Banerjee government had, soon after assuming power, set up a syllabus overhaul committee for classes I to XII.

The revised history book for Class VIII, introduced in the current session, contains a chapter — The Beginning of Nationalism — that deals with “revolutionary terrorism”. The names of Khudiram Bose, Jatindranath Mukherjee and Prafulla Chaki figure in the chapter.

Bhaskar Chakrabarti, a professor of history at Calcutta University, said it was not the first time that the term “revolutionary terrorism” has been used in a school textbook.

“We must understand the terrorism mentioned in the book is not the same we see today,” Chakrabrati said.