Published: Express Tribune – March 24, 2013
Civil society representatives gathered at Shadman Chowk on Saturday, March 23, to commemorate the 82nd death anniversary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
The participants paid tribute to him for services rendered during the independence movement. Bhagat Singh was born in Banga Jaranwala village in what was then Lyallpur, now Faisalabad. “He was educated in Lahore and visited many towns in Punjab inspiring others youngsters to fight for freedom,” said a press release from the Bhagat Singh Foundation. He was later hanged at what is now Shadman Chowk by the British. Bhagat Singh Foundation President Abdullah Malik demanded that the Indian and Pakistani governments declare all freedom fighters to be national heroes. The participants lighted candles in front of a portrait of Bhagat Singh and demanded that Shadman Chowk be officially renamed after him. The event was also attended by Saeeda Diep, Idrees Tabassum, Farooq Tariq, Iftikhar Butt, Amna Malik and Madeeha Gauhar.
They were also confronted by a simultaneous protest by a religious group denouncing the idea of renaming the chowk after Bhagat Singh.
The Institute of Peace and Secular Studies said that “religious extremists” had assaulted some of the protesters. It said that the local SHO had urged them to abandon their protest within half an hour because of the threat of escalating violence.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2013.