Pak body demands highest gallantry medal for Bhagat Singh

Pak body demands highest gallantry medal for Bhagat Singh

Bhagat Singh should be accorded Pakistan's highest gallantry award 'Nishan-e-Haider' and his statue must be installed at Lahore's Shaadman Chowk, where he was hanged 86 years ago, an organisation working to prove the legendary freedom fighter's innocence in a court has demanded.

Singh was hanged along with his two comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev by British rulers on March 23, 1931 at the age of 23 in Lahore, after being tried under charges for hatching a conspiracy against the colonial government and allegedly killing British police officer John P Saunders.

In its fresh application to Pakistan's Punjab province government, the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation said Singh had sacrificed his life for the cause of liberating the subcontinent.

"Pakistan's founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had offered tribute to the freedom fighter by saying that there never has been any such brave person in the subcontinent like Bhagat Singh," it said in its application.

It also said: "Bhagat Singh is our hero and is entitled to be bestowed the greatest medal of gallantry (Nishan-e-Haider) like Maj Aziz Bhahti, who also wrote on the bravery of Bhagat Singh and declared him his 'hero and ideal'."

'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 demanded the renaming of Shaadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk.

"Those nations that forget their heroes have been removed from the surface of the earth like 'wrong word'," it said.

Hafiz Saeed's Jammat-ud-Dawah is strongly opposing the proposal for renaming Shadman Chowk.

The Foundation said installing a statue of Singh at Shaadman Chowk would inspire the people of Pakistan and the world as a symbol of a fighter for freedom.

Just demand

"This will show that Pakistanis do not make any distinction on the basis of colour, creed, race or religion," it said.

Foundation chairman, advocate Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi, said the government would be pressed to accept their just demand.

Qureshi has also been pursuing a case in the Lahore High Court to reopen the case of Singh and his comrades hanged in 1931.

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