Chowk in Pakistan where Bhagat Singh was hanged to be named after him? Plea filed

LAHORE: Eighty-six years after Bhagat Singh was hanged, a Pakistani court is seeking to rename the Shaadman Chowk in Lahore where he was hanged. The plea also calls for the installation of a statue of the freedom fighter there.

Bhagat Singh was hanged along with his two comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev by British rulers on March 23, 1931 in the erstwhile Lahore Jail, which stood at the spot where the roundabout was built later.

However, during the hearing of the plea filed by Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation Chairman Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, the Lahore High Court was informed that a similar petition was pending with it.

Thereafter, Justice Shahid Jamil Khan ordered to club both petitions and fixed March 5 for hearing. The petitioner stated that Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter of the sub-continent and gave his life along with his companions for the cause of freedom.

He pointed out that the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also paid tribute to him saying, “There had never been any brave person in the subcontinent like Bhagat Singh.”

He pleaded that it would be in the interest of justice to name Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh and also install his statue at the square so as to inspire the people of Pakistan and the world.

In the plea, Qureshi said that in India there were many roads and thoroughfares named after Muslim rulers like Akbar Road, Shah Jahan Road and Bahadar Shah Road.

He said India also published tickets with the image of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Aligarh University, and his statue was also installed there.

He said an application was filed before the chief secretary and the deputy commissioner of Lahore to this effect but no action had been taken so far.

The foundation last month also demanded that Bhagat Singh should be accorded Pakistan’s highest gallantry award ‘Nishan-e-Haider’.

Hafiz Saeed’s Jammat-ud-Dawah is strongly opposing the proposal of renaming Shadman Chowk and even had threatened to the civil society members over this matter.