Jallianwala victims’ kin oppose paid entry plan

Jallianwala victims’ kin oppose paid entry plan

Members of the Punjab state Freedom Fighter Successors Organisation and kin of Jallianwala Bagh martyrs protest in Amritsar on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 16

Kin of victims of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, under the banner of Jallianwala Bagh Shaheed Parivar Samiti, staged a protest against the proposed plan to charge fee from visitors to the historic place, on Thursday.

The protesters said a room-like structure with several windows was being built at the entrance which might be used as ticket counter. However, Shwait Malik, who is a member of the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust, said no decision had been taken regarding paid entry to the historic Bagh. He said the ticket counter was being raised as a part of renovation plan.

Mahesh Behl, whose grandfather Lala Hari Ram was martyred in the 1919 massacre at the age of 36, said in the name of renovation, the Centre had ended up tarnishing historic significance of the place and was turning it into a ‘recreation garden’.

“It is painful that the government intends to earn money in the name of those who were martyred for the nation. We strongly oppose the plan to charging money from visitors,” he said.

Vimal Kapoor, whose grandfather Lala Tara Chand Kapoor and uncle Ram Dyal Kapoor were injured when the British troops opened fire, said: “The decision must be reviewed, keeping in view our sentiments attached to the place,” he said.

A few days ago, Congress MLA Dr Raj Kumar Verka, too, staged a protest here and gave a 15-day ultimatum to the Union Government for rollback of the proposal and dismantling of the room-like structure. “It is a disrespect of martyrs. The ‘recovery shop’ ought to be removed, otherwise, a massive protest will be held from February 1,” he said.

Kamaldeep Singh, a visitor from Chandigarh, said: “People from across the world visit the Bagh as it tells a story of British repression on Indians before the Independence. It will be wrong to charge fee from them.”

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