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Posted at: Mar 22, 2016, 1:37 AM; last updated: Mar 22, 2016, 1:37 AM (IST)

Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birthplace in Pak gets facelift

Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birthplace in Pak gets facelift
Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s house at Chak No 105 GB (now Bangay village) in Lyallpur, Pakistan. Tribune file photo

Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21

Declared a heritage site two years ago, Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birthplace Chak No 105 GB (now Bangay village) in Lyallpur (Pakistan) has been thrown open to the public after its preservation. Activists of Lyallpur are organising Sardar Bhagat Singh Mela in the village on March 23, his martyrdom day.

In February 2014, then Faisalabad district coordination officer Noorul Amin Mengal had visited Bhagat Singh’s house and announced that the district administration would preserve the martyr’s birthplace as a heritage site by spending around Rs 5 crore (in Indian currency).

Mengal, who had earlier served in Lahore, had initiated the process to rename Shadman Chowk after the martyr.

Tohid Chattha, research scholar, Government College University, Faisalabad, who is one of the organisers of the mela, said the district administration’s initiative had motivated the civil society of Lyallpur to honour the martyr’s memory. “Apart from his house, the entire village is being developed as a tourist place. The school in which Bhagat Singh studied is also being preserved,” said Chattha.

“We will discuss his ideas and local singers will sing his heroic songs, which are part of our folklore,” he added.

Prof Jagmohan Singh, Bhagat Singh’s Ludhiana-based nephew, who has also done research on the martyr’s works, said the mela was first held in 1932, a year after Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom. “It continued till 1947 but stopped after that. Then, people in India started holding a similar mela at Khatkar Kalan (Nawanshahr),” he added.

Welcoming Pakistan’s restoration plan, Prof Jagmohan Singh said it was testimony to the universality of Bhagat Singh’s ideas. “His ideas transcend the narrow barriers of caste, religion or borders,” he said.

Earlier, the house was being owned by an advocate, whose ancestors have preserved some of the martyr’s belongings all these decades. But the district administration acquired it from him.

The belongings included a spinning wheel used by Bhagat Singh’s mother, a copper kneading tray, two wooden trunks and a closet of steel.

“The people of Faisalabad take pride in the fact that Bhagat Singh was the son of their soil. They want the place to be known by his name,” Mengal had said when the restoration work was started.

Bhagat Singh was born on September 28, 1907, at Bangay village, 150 km from Lahore and 35 km from Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak.

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