Various organisations, kin of martyrs protest against Jallianwala Bagh facelift

Are denied entry to the Bagh as the Amritsar police have imposed Section 144 banning the assembly of five or more persons at a spot and holding of a protest in the vicinity of the memorial till Nov 6

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 14

Various political, farm and social organisations and kin of martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh on Tuesday conducted a protest march against the renovation and beautification of Jallianwala Bagh alleging it to be tinkering with the historic site.

They were denied entry to the Bagh as a preventive measure, since the Amritsar police have imposed Section 144 banning the assembly of five or more persons at a spot, and holding of a protest in the vicinity of the memorial till November 6.

Amid heavy police barricading, the protesters, including representatives of Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Society, Kisan Sanjha Morcha and martyrs’ families, had no option but to stage a sit-in on the Heritage Street metres ahead of the Bagh for a few hours.

CPI district secretary Amarjit Singh Asal said the heavy police arrangement showed that the anti-democratic vision of Gen Reginald Dyer and Gen O’ Dwyer still prevailed in our system. “A century ago, at the same place the British regime had imposed a ban on public assembly. Now, the present dispensation has been replicating the same. We just wanted to convey to the authorities that till the historic heritage is restored at the Bagh, we would continue to raise our voice,” he said.

Jallianwala Bagh Freedom Fighters Foundation president Sunil Kapoor, who lost his great grandfather Lala Wasu Mal in the 1919 massacre, said the Bagh appeared to be more of a “picnic” and “selfie” spot than a memorial.

“What is wrong when we demand that the memorabilia and pictures of martyrs be re-installed? We have been raising the issue of granting a freedom fighter status to the martyrs from the Centre and the state governments for long but in vain,” he said.

They demanded that the murals mounted on the walls of the original narrow street, from where Gen Dyer passed through with his troops and opened fire on a gathering of unarmed men, women and children assembled in the Bagh, be removed. They also wanted the separate exit point to be closed as it defied history which speaks only about one entry-exit point.

The pedestal on which Dyer stood and ordered firing has also been erased; it should be rebuilt at the same place, they demanded.

They objected to shifting of the Amar Jyoti flame, which was earlier at the entrance of the memorial, to the back. They demanded that it be restored at its original spot to evoke a patriotic feel.

Another objection raised by them was about the new structure built on the martyrs’ well. 

 

Tribune Shorts

Top Stories

Bharat Bandh: Farmers block highways, squat on railway tracks in Punjab, Haryana during 10-hour shutdown

Bharat Bandh: Farmers block highways, squat on railway tracks in Punjab, Haryana during 10-hour shutdown

A complete shutdown is observed in Punjab, with transport se...

Making sincere efforts to remove road blockades by farmers, Haryana tells SC

Making sincere efforts to remove road blockades by farmers, Haryana tells SC

A state-level committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary...

Bharat Bandh: Received unprecedented response, says Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Bharat Bandh: Received unprecedented response, says Samyukta Kisan Morcha

Bandh was observed peacefully in ‘more than 23 states’ and n...

25 trains affected due to Bharat Bandh: Railways

25 trains affected due to Bharat Bandh: Railways

The Delhi-Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab, New Delhi-Moga Express, Ol...

‘Don’t treat young doctors as football’, says SC on last-minute changes in NEET syllabus

‘Don’t treat young doctors as football’, says SC on last-minute changes in NEET syllabus

Top court was hearing a plea of 41 Post Graduate doctors who...

Cities

View All