LAHORE: Eighty-seven years after Bhagat Singh was hanged for the murder of a British police officer, Pakistan today displayed all records of the legendary freedom fighter’s case file and his comrades, a step appreciated by the civil society and rights activists.
Early this week, Pakistan’s Punjab government had displayed some of the records of the case file of Bhagat Singh’s trial, which is called the Lahore Conspiracy Case, at the historic Tomb of Anarkali in Lahore.
“We have displayed all the record related to Bhagat Singh and his comrades trial case in the exhibition,” Punjab Archives Department Director Abbas Chughtai told PTI today.
“Seeing enormous public response we have decided to extend the exhibition date till coming Sunday. Earlier, we had planned it for only for one day,” he said, adding a total 50 or so documents related to the Lahore Conspiracy case and newspaper clippings has been put on display.
“This is all the record we have with us,” he added.
Singh, 23, was hanged by British rulers on March 23, 1931 in Lahore, after being tried under charges for hatching a conspiracy against the colonial government. The case was filed against Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for allegedly killing British police officer John P Saunders.
Their bodies were cremated and the ashes were thrown in the River Sutlej the same day in extreme secrecy to avoid any public reaction. The world came to know about the hangings through Maulana Zafar Ali Khan’s Zamindar newspaper two days later. The Archives department on Monday displayed request of Bhagat Singh for providing order of court dated August 27, 1930, petition of Bhagat Singh dated May 31, 1929 for interview of his father, petition of Sardar Kishan Singh, father of Bhagat Singh, against the death sentence of his son and the certificate/execution of death of Bhagat Singh in Lahore district jail by the superintendent of jail dated March 23, 1931.
Today, it exhibited the posters of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army, copies of the books and revolutionary poetry attributed to Bhagat Singh, DIG CID’s reports about recovery of a bomb factory in Lahore, recovery of revolvers from Singh, list of chemicals, pictures of bullets, pistols and bombshells recovered as evidence, post-mortem report of Saunders, warrants of execution of Sukhdev and Rajguru and judgment against appeal of Singh among others.
Bhagat Singh and his comrades’ petition dated March 5, 1931, in the Court at Buckingham Palace is also on display.
It pleaded “The lords of the committee in obedience to the late King Edward the seventh’s order in council have taken the said humble petition into consideration and having heard counsel in support thereof their lordships do this day agree humbly to report to your majesty as their opinion that the said petition ought to be dismissed.”
At the venue, legendary Khan Abdul Karim Khan’s thumri in Raag Jhinjhoti “Piya Bin Chain Na Awat,” which he rendered in 1929, was being played in the background, adding to the historic value of the place and setting a perfect background to pay tribute to Bhagat Singh and his comrades.
Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed and additional chief secretary Umar Rasool, who took the initiative to exhibit this historic case file at the official level also visited.
A good number of teachers and students of the National College of Arts and other institutions visited it today.
“I spent some three hours here to go through the Lahore Conspiracy case. I had read a little about Bhagat Singh but after going through all this record my admiration for these freedom fighters has multiplied,” says NCA student Fariha Naz.