Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 21
Following criticism, the portrait of two semi-naked women, striking poses identical to those in Ajanta and Ellora caves, placed on one of the walls of the under-renovation gallery of Jallianwala Bagh, has been removed.
Apart from this being against the spirit of the site, another blunder made was that the objectionable picture was placed adjacent to the portraits of Guru Nanak and Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Former MP Tarlochan Singh, who is one of the members of PM-led Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust, said: "Before opening the monument for the public, I propose that all the members and other stakeholders should make a prior visit to the site to make sure that nothing objectionable should be there which does not commensurate with the spirit of the place”, he said.
The under-renovation site has been closed for the public since February 15.
Claiming to maintain its 'historic composition', the work is being executed under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The Centre has allocated Rs 20 crore for the first phase of the project aimed to be completed by July 31. The Bagh is expected to be opened by August 15.
Tarksheel Society head Sumit Singh said that though the portrait was removed, this lapse demanded stern action against those responsible for it.
On Monday, the International Sarv Kamboj Samaj had shot off separate complaints to the Akal Takht and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the chairman of Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust.
Shinder Pal Singh alias Bobby Kamboj, president of Kamboj Samaj said that it was a matter of national shame to install such obnoxious portraits.
An official confirmed that the portrait has been removed following objections from several quarters.
Following this, the SDM Amritsar-1 Vikas Hira had paid a visit to the site on Monday evening. Though he avoided talking about the controversial portraits, he assured the issue would be resolved after the intervention of higher authorities.
In a hard-hitting statement issued here, National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Punjab, Akshay Sharma demanded a thorough probe to ascertain how and who approved the obnoxious images to be put up at Jallianwala Bagh.
“Don't you know the historical significance of this monument and its role in Indian freedom history? This clearly shows the attitude and respect the BJP, that commands the Jallianwala Bagh Trust, has for our martyrs. The BJP has always used sacrifices of our martyrs for advancing their political agenda”, he said.
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