Lahore: Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation – an organisation working to prove the legendary freedom fighter’s innocence in court - has demanded the country's highest gallantry award ‘Nishan-e-Haider’ for the revolutionary.
According to PTI, the organisation has also demanded the authorities to install his statue at Lahore’s Shaadman Chowk where he was hanged 86 years ago.
Singh, who is regarded as one of the most inspiring youth icons, was hanged along with his two comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev by British rulers on March 23, 1931, at the age of 23 in Lahore.
He and two other freedom fighters were hanged after being tried under charges for hatching a conspiracy against the colonial government and allegedly killing British police officer John P Saunders.
The foundation filed a fresh application to Pakistan’s Punjab province government in which it said that Bhagat Singh had sacrificed his life for the cause to liberate the sub-continent.
“Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had offered tribute to the freedom fighter by saying that there has never been such a brave person in the sub-continent like Bhagat Singh,” it said in its application.
“Bhagat Singh is our hero and is entitled to be bestowed upon the greatest medal of gallantry (Nishan-e-Haider) like Major Aziz Bhahti who also wrote on the bravery Bhagat Singh and declared him his ‘hero' and ideal,” it further said.
‘Nishan-e-Haider’ (which literary means ‘Mark of Lion’) is the highest military award in Pakistan and it is awarded to personnel of the armed forces for their extraordinary courage and bravery.
The foundation also made a fresh demand of naming Shadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk, asking the Punjab government to take the step without any further delay.
“Those nations that forget their heroes have been removed from the surface of the earth like ‘wrong word’,” it said.
Meanwhile, UN-designated global terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah is strongly opposing the proposal of renaming Shadman Chowk and had even threatened the civil society members over this matter.
The foundation demanded the government to install a statue of Singh on Shadman Chowk to inspire the hearts of the people of Pakistan and the world as a symbol of freedom fighter.
“This will show that Pakistanis do not make any distinction on the basis of colour, creed, race or religion.”
The foundation chairman, Advocate Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi, said that it would rigorously pursue this matter and press the government to accept its just demand.
He said the government should have no issue in acceptance of these demands that will reflect good on it (government) as well.
Qureshi has also been pursuing a case in the Lahore High Court to reopen the case of Singh and his two comrades who were hanged in 931. It is pending in the court.
(With PTI inputs)