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Coins in memory of Bhagat Singh remain a distant dream
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Panipat, June 7
It was in September 2006 that the Union Government decided to issue commemorative coins in memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh to honour the sacrifices made by him to help the country attain freedom. Even after four and half years of the same, the coins have still not become a reality. An RTI query by social activist PP Kapoor has revealed that the Union Government was unaware of the number of coins produced thus far to be put into circulation.

In reply to the query which was put up to the PMO, the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPAMCI) stated that commemorative coins of Rs 5 and Rs 100 denomination were produced by the India Government Mint (IGM), Kolkata only for the release function held at the martyrís native village Khatkar Kalan in Bhagat Singh Nagar district in Punjab in September, 2008. After which, the general public did not get to see the coins in circulation.

Though the SPAMCI stated that birth centenary coins of Rs 5 denomination were to be produced in ferritic stainless steel having a quality of 25 million pieces, it had no information about the number of coins produced till date. In the reply dated May 13, 2011, the corporation said that the dies for the same were being provided by IGM, Kolkata to IMG Hyderabad, which was assigned the task of producing these coins and work was under progress.

The corporation also mentioned that dies and punches were being arranged by IGM and blanks were being done by IGM Hyderabad. It stated that after minting the coins, these would be handed over to the RBI for distribution.

However, there was no mention of the coin of Rs 100 denomination in the reply . Social organisations led by the All-India Shaheed Bhagat Singh Brigade have already appealed to the Centre to introduce the commemorative coins of Rs 100 and Rs 5 denominations announced by it on the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh. Chairman of the brigade Yadavinder Singh Sandhu wrote a letter to the PM last year, urging him to bring the coins into daily.

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