Jalandhar, March 27
Angered at the removal of photographs of martyr Bhagat Singh and his uncle Ajit Singh from the Mohalla Clinic at the former’s ancestral Khatkar Kalan village, student protesters today blackened the CM’s photograph put up at the Mohalla Clinic.
Don’t tamper with legacy
While entering the village, photographs at the clinic declared to the people that it is the martyr’s village. The photos represent his legacy. The photos have been removed now. We demand their immediate restoration. — Ranjit Singh Sandhu, Khatkar Kalan resident
Formerly a Primary Health Centre (PHC), which had been operational since 1973, previously bore four photographs of Bhagat Singh and one of Ajit Singh. The building is merely 35 to 40 metres from the martyr’s museum at Khatkar Kalan.
The building had photos of Bhagat Singh as a young boy, two of his popular images in a turban and the popular iconic image in jail, as well as Ajit Singh’s on its facade. These photos were removed when the building was converted into a Mohalla Clinic under the AAP government’s statewide flagship healthcare programme.
The present building bears a red painted facade with a yellow Mohalla Clinic sign which has CM Mann’s picture on it. Punjab Students’ Union members today visited the site and raised slogans against the government. Later, union members climbed atop the walls of the clinic and blackened the CM’s portrait put up at the building with black spray paint.
Union president Mangaljit Pandori said, “We came here especially to protest against the removal of photos from the Mohalla Clinic. In Punjab, CM Mann sought votes in the name of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. But today for the sake of politics, the matryr’s photo has been removed and only Mann’s photo has been put up, which we fiercely oppose. We have marked our protest by blackening the CM’s photos here. We demand Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s photos be restored at the site.”
Ranjit Singh Sandhu, a resident of Khatkar Kalan, said, “While entering the village, the photographs at the clinic declared to the people that it is the martyr’s village. The photos represent his legacy. The photos have been removed now. We do not know whether the CM is aware of the removal of the martyr’s photos. But we demand their immediate restoration.”
Notably, Khatkar Kalan has massive importance in the Aam Aadmi Party’s political journey as CM Mann kick-started his political innings as a CM with his oath-taking ceremony held here and AAP also removed all other portraits from offices, replacing CM’s pictures with Bhagat Singh and Dr BR Ambedkar’s portraits. The CM has already announced a heritage street at Khatkar Kalan just days ago to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Bhagat Singh and also visited Bhagat Singh’s memorial and museum to pay tributes just four days ago.
With Bhagat Singh being the proclaimed ‘official’ idol of the Aam Admi Party, the removal of Shaheed-e-Azam’s portraits from the health centre to make way for the Mohalla Clinic hasn’t gone down well with the youth.
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