TIMES OF INDIA – TRIBUTES PAID TO BHAGAT SINGH IN LAHORE ON HIS 83RD MARTYRDOM DAY
Published: Times of India – March 23, 2013
BARNALA: Despite real threats by religious groups of Pakistan not to demand renaming of a roundabout after martyr of yore, legendary martyr Bhagat Singh aficionados paid tributes on his 83rd martyrdom day.
Institute for peace and secular studies (IPSS) convener Diep Saeeda in an email from Lahore said “despite threats made by certain religious groups on Saturday morning through newspapers about demanding the renaming of Shadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh chowk, a large number activists of IPSS and other civil society organizations assembled at the chowk.”
Certain organizations are demanding the renaming of the chowk, where in earlier times stood the Lahore central jail where Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev were hanged on March 23, 1931. Later when jail had given way, the chowk named Shadman chowk was built on the lace and Bhagat singh fans of Pakistan wanted the naming of chowk after the martyr, said Diep.
The police demanded the activists to leave the venue under the threat of an escalation of violence. This is yet another example of how the democratic space for peaceful protest and pluralism has been hijacked by narrow minded bigots who believe in imposing their version of Islam and nationalism on everyone, said Diep.