A Pakistani court on Wednesday directed the Lahore district government to decide on the renaming of Shadman Chowk after Independence movement hero Bhagat Singh who was hanged there 87 years ago by the British rulers.
Bhagat Singh was hanged along with his two comrades Rajguru and Sukhdev by British rulers on March 23, 1931 in the erstwhile Lahore Jail, which stood at the spot where the roundabout was built later.
Lahore High Court Justice Shahid Jamil Khan on a petition of the Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation's chairman Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi ordered the Lahore deputy commissioner to decide on the pending matter of renaming Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh according to law.
The petitioner argued Bhagat Singh was a freedom fighter of the subcontinent and gave his life along with his companions for the cause of freedom.
He pointed out that founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had also paid tribute to Singh, saying there had never been any such brave person in the subcontinent like Bhagat Singh.
He said it was in the interest of justice to name Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh.
"We also request the authorities to install Singh's statute at the place where he was hanged to inspire the people of Pakistan and the world," Qureshi said.
He argued that in India there were several roads named after Muslim rulers like Shah Jahan, Bahadar Shah and Akbar and also the Indian government issued tickets with the image of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, and his statue was also installed.
"It is a first step towards the renaming of Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh," Advocate Qureshi told PTI, hailing the court's decision.
He said although the court had not given any deadline to the deputy commissioner to decide on the matter, they will "press him to decide it within a month".
The foundation had also demanded that Bhagat Singh should be accorded Pakistan's highest gallantry award 'Nishan-e-Haider'.
Hafiz Saeed's Jammat-ud-Dawah is strongly opposing the
proposal of renaming Shadman Chowk and even had threatened to the civil society members for it.