Pakistani civil society today held a candle-light vigil and paid rich tributes to iconic freedom fighter Bhagat Singh on his 83rd death anniversary and demanded that Shadman Chowk here be renamed after him.
Scores of rights activists placed Singh's photo at the chowk in the country's northeast and paid rich tributes to the freedom fighter. They reiterated their demand from the PML-N government to rename Shadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk, the place where he was hanged on March 23, 1931 by the British at the age of just 23.
Speaking at the gathering, founder of Bhagat Singh Foundation Abdullah Malik said the sacrifice of the freedom fighter should be remembered and recognised without any religious discrimination. "Bhagat Singh is our hero and we will continue to pay him tributes despite the opposition of the religious fundamentalists," he said.
Malik said the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court should take notice and ensure that the government's decision of declaring the Shadman Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk should be implemented. The plan was put on hold after extremists organisations, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, objected to the proposal.
Centre for Human Rights Education Director Samson Salamat said freedom was the ultimate objective of the sacrifice given by Singh. "We will continue the mission of Bhagat Singh to ensure that fundamental freedoms of all the citizens are respected without any religious discrimination in the Pakistani society," he said.
Leading activists and writers, including Saeeda Diep, Farooq Tariq, Madeeha Gohar, Rabia Bajwa, Amna Malik, Naveed Raphael, Komal Patras, Amjad Saleem Minhas and Khan Asif Khan, also spoke on the occasion.