India completed 70 years of Independence on this August 15. This very day marks the beginning of a new chapter for the country and the success of its freedom fighters. One of the revolutionary men in India’s struggle for independence was Bhagat Singh who was hanged to death in 1931 for hatching a conspiracy against the colonial British government and murdering one of its police officers.
Now, 86 years after the death of this revolutionary, a fresh plea has been filed in Lahore High Court to prove his innocence. The application has been filed by advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi of Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation on Monday.
Last year in February, the Division Bench of the Lahore High Court had asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to form a larger bench that would hear the petition by Qureshi but no action has yet been taken in the matter.
In 2014, as per court’s order, Lahore police had given the copy of the original FIR on the Saunders killing of 1928 to the petitioner. Bhagat Singh had been handed down a death sentence in this case while there was no mention of his name in the FIR. The FIR had been searched through the Anarkali police station of Lahore in 2014, 83 years after Bhagat Singh was hanged. The FIR registered on December 17, 1928, at 4.30 p.m. against two “unknown gunmen” was written in Urdu. The case against the accused was registered under sections 302, 1201, and 109 of IPC. Qureshi said that the special tribunal that heard Singh’s case awarded him the death sentence without hearing the 450 witnesses of the case and did not even allow his lawyers to cross-question them.
Now Qureshi has filed a fresh application in this regard and sought justice. In his petition, the advocate has said that Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter and stood for the independence of an undivided nation. He also asserted that Singh was initially jailed for life but was later given the death sentence under a “fabricated case”. He has, in his petition, asked the court to exercise principles of review and get him honored with a state award by the government.
Qureshi has also written to the government to erect a statue of Bhagat Singh at Shadman Chowk, the place where he was hanged 86 years ago along with two of his companions. The Economic Times quotes advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi saying,
I have filed the petition in the LCH for early hearing of the Bhagat Singh case. Today I requested the registrar to get a date fixed for hearing of the case and hopefully the case will be heard this month. I have written to the government for building a statue of Singh but has not yet got any response from it in this regard.
Advocate Qureshi held that Bhagat Singh is not only respected by the Sikhs of the sub-continent but also Muslims, as Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan paid tribute to him twice. He quoted the matter of Bhagat Singh’s innocence as “a matter of national importance” and said,
I will establish Bhagat Singh’s innocence in the Saunders case.