Crusader of proving ‘innocence’ of revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and his two comrades in the killing of British Police Officer John P Saunders, the single handed efforts of Pakistani advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi has borne fruit, as the case would now be handed over to a five-member bench for hearing. Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh’s, Sukdev and Rajguru’s martyrdom day would be observed today ie March 23.
Advocate Qureshi who runs Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation had filed a case in the Lahore high court to prove that Bhagat Singh was innocent in the case. Qureshi had traced the FIR of Bhagat Singh dating back to 1928 from Anarkali police station in 2014. He proved that Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were not named in the FIR but still given death sentence for killing British Police Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police John P Saunders.
Talking to Daily Post, Abhay Sandhu the nephew of Bhagat Singh said that earlier this case was taken up by a three-member bench. “Now, they are waiting to hand over the case for hearing to a five-member bench of high court”, he said.
Sandhu also said that till date, nobody from the centre or the Punjab government ever took up this case with the Pakistan government. “A retired professor of Jawahar Lal Nehru (JNU) University Chaman Lal and a senior advocate of Supreme Court were facilitating this case from India. We are thankful to Imtiaz Qureshi for taking up this initiative on his own and making it a national subject”, he said.
Notably, on 27 April 2016, Advocate Imtiaz Qureshi along with senior vice chairman of the foundation Sufi Nadeem Tufail, lawyer Momin Malik and others had visited Khatkar Kalan the native place of Bhagat Singh. At that time, he had also met Gurjeet Kaur, the niece of Bhagat Singh at Ambala Jattan village in Hoshiarpur district.
A fresh plea was filed in Pakistan court in the year 2017, which was also put on display in the Lahore high court. Earlier, on court’s order, the Lahore police had provided a copy of the original FIR of killing Saunders in 1928 to Imtiaz Qureshi in 2014.
The FIR was registered with the Anarkali police station on December 17, 1928 against two unknown gunmen, but did not mention Bhagat Singh and his comrade’s name. A case under section 302, 1201 and 109 of the IPC was registered against the martyrs.
Abhay Sandhu said that recently the Pakistan court directed the local bodies department to rename the ‘Shadman chowk’ in Lahore where Bhagat Singh along with Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged on the name of Bhagat Singh. “A candle light march would be held at Shadman chowk tomorrow”, he said.
Interestingly, the Pakistan government has also renamed the Banga Chakk number 105, the native village of Bhagat Singh as ‘Bhagatpura’. “Pakistan government has been honouring Bhagat Singh, which was a matter of great pride for all of us”, he added.
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