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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 6:58 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 6:58 AM (IST)

Panel seeks Takht intervention for martyr status to freedom fighters

Panel seeks Takht intervention for martyr status to freedom fighters
Jaswant Singh Bharta, president of the Jabar Virudh Action and Welfare Committee, in Amritsar on Thursday. Tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 10

Akal Takht’s intervention has been sought to accord the “martyr” status to freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.

A delegation from Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village Khatkar Kalan (near Banga) under the banner of the Jabar Virudh Action and Welfare Committee today met Akal Takht’s acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh urging to intervene as even after 71 years of independence, these national heroes have not been accorded the status of martyrs officially.

Giani Harpreet Singh said the matter would be referred to the SGPC, which would further take it up with the state government.

Though the state government gives due respect to all martyrs, it had showed its inability to confer ‘martyr’ title as per Article 18 of the Constitution. The matter was also discussed during zero hour in Parliament, but in vain.

President of the committee Jaswant Singh Bharta contested it by saying “if the state and Central government had no hitch in awarding martyr status to former Chief Minister Beant Singh and Sarbjit Singh, who died in a Pakistan jail, offering lucrative jobs and incentives to their family members, then what was the hindrance of conferring similar status to our national heroes who laid down their lives to get the nation free from the Britishers”.

He claimed that Bhagat Singh was declared a proclaimed offender in the records of a police station at Banga. “Till date, no government spared a thought to amend these records. How can they be considered as militants?” he said.

The committee members had held hunger strike a few months ago. “We had ended the strike after Navjot Singh Sidhu’s assurance on whose behalf the then DC had committed to pursue the case with the government within 90 days, but it didn’t happen,” he said.

He said they also met Amit Shah in New Delhi recently who told them to approach through the state government.

“We tried umpteen times to meet Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh but he could not spare time for us. If he continued to be so indifferent, we will hold hunger strike in front of his residence,” he said.

He said Giani Harpreet Singh was requested to pass on the message to the Punjabi-speaking community to make it a movement to at least give true homage to the national heroes. “He assured us of taking up the issue,” he said.

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