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इंडियन आवाज़     19 Sep 2021 04:49:27      انڈین آواز

Various organisations protest against Jallianwala Bagh facelift

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AMN / Amritsar

Various social and political organisations and relatives of martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh today organised a protest march against the renovation and beautification of Jallianwala Bagh alleging that the centre has harmed the sanctity of the historic site.

They were denied entry to the Bagh as a preventive measure, since the Amritsar police have imposed Section 144 banning the assembly of five or more persons at a spot, and holding of a protest in the vicinity of the memorial till November 6.

Amid heavy police barricading, the protesters, including representatives of Desh Bhagat Yaadgar Society, Kisan Sanjha Morcha and martyrs’ families, had no option but to stage a sit-in on the Heritage Street metres ahead of the Bagh for a few hours.

CPI district secretary Amarjit Singh Asal said the heavy police arrangement showed that the anti-democratic vision of Gen Reginald Dyer and Gen O’ Dwyer still prevailed in our system. “A century ago, at the same place the British regime had imposed a ban on public assembly. Now, the present dispensation has been replicating the same. We just wanted to convey to the authorities that till the historic heritage is restored at the Bagh, we would continue to raise our voice,” he said.

Jallianwala Bagh Freedom Fighters Foundation president Sunil Kapoor, who lost his great grandfather Lala Wasu Mal in the 1919 massacre, said the Bagh appeared to be more of a “picnic” and “selfie” spot than a memorial.

“What is wrong when we demand that the memorabilia and pictures of martyrs be re-installed? We have been raising the issue of granting a freedom fighter status to the martyrs from the Centre and the state governments for long but in vain,” he said.

Earlier Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed the government’s revamp of the Jallianwala Bagh memorial an “insult to martyrs”, saying only a person who does not know the meaning of martyrdom can inflict such an insult.

The former Congress chief’s attack came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial.

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