Saturday, September 05, 2009


Metro Rail Chugs Along, Dislocates Historic Landmark

Bangalore: Walking down the road along Chinnaswamy stadium, towards GPO, you couldn’t have missed the aircraft stationed at Minsk Square. Next to the statue of an unknown soldier dedicated to the martyrs of our country, the aircraft has been a matter of pride for Bangaloreans.
But the next time you are in the vicinity, the aircraft will be conspicuous by its absence. The Metro project, which is going to eat into parts of the BRV parade ground and the cricket stadium, has displaced this statue as well.
The aircraft, Ajeet, is a single-seater interceptor with a secondary ground-attack role. It was developed by the British Folland Gnat under licence from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and used from March 1975 to 1991. Ajeet was later shifted to Minsk Square, where it was stationed for over 10 years.
THE BELARUS CONNECTION Minsk is a historic city in the erstwhile Soviet Union which later became the capital of Belarus. It’s famous for historic events and protests. On the outskirts of Minsk is a place called Bangalore Square, where public meetings are held
Ajeet was grounded in 1991, the same year Belarus became independent
The mayor of Belarus is said to have been impressed by the sight of the plane when he visited Bangalore
The location was apt because of the presence of HAL headquarters next to it. Even the HAL in-house newspaper is named after the place
Over the years, the aircraft has become a landmark for many institutions like the Press Club
It is now likely to be placed at the HAL museum on Airport Road


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