India on 23 March 2017 paid befitting tributes to martyr Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. 23 March marks their 86th martyrdom day, which is also celebrated as Shaheed Diwas.
Paying tributes on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweet said the country will never forget their courage and sacrifice.
British rulers had executed them at Shadman Chowk in Lahore Central jail on 23 March 1931 for their revolutionary activities against the British rule. They were hanged a day before the scheduled date of execution. Their bodies were cremated on the banks of the Sutlej River.
The trio, Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, were hanged for killing John Saunders, who they mistook as James Scott, the British police superintendent. It was believed that Scott was the person behind the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.
Later, they, Bhagat Singh and his associates, got themselves arrested by exploding bombs in the central legislative assembly in Delhi. During their imprisonment period, they undertook several revolutionary works including hunger strikes in which they demanded better rights for Indians in prisons.
To mark the day, a number of programmes have been organised across India, especially in Punjab. Events that will be held to mark the martyrdom day of the national heroes includes
Ferozpur, Punjab: As per reports, a 120-kilometer long bicycle rally was planned on the occasion of the martyrdom day. The rally started on 22 March from the Martyrs' Memorial at Asafwala village, near Sulemanki border between India-Pakistan in Fazilka district and will reach Hussainiwala on 23 March 2017. Toori Bazaar of Ferozpur was used as a hideout for nearly six months in 1928-29 by Bhagat Singh and contemporaries. During this hideout, Singh has got his hair cut to change his outlook.
Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has invited historian, AG Noorani, to address the Delhi Assembly on Bhagat Singh's legacy under the subject 'The trial of Bhagat Singh and his relevance today’ on 23 March 2017.
Bhagat Singh’s gun: The Border Security Force (BSF) has planned to put on display the pistol (semi-automatic .32-bore Colt-make pistol) that was used by Bhagat Singh to kill British officer John Saunders in 1928, at its new arms museum. At present, the pistol is on display at the old museum of the city-based Central School of Weapon Central School of Weapons and Tactics (CSWT). The gun will be put on display within a couple of months.
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Pakistan: The High of Lahore, Pakistan has granted security covers to Bhagat Singh Foundation to mark his Martyrdom Anniversary. The security cover was granted as it is believed that the ceremony has threats from some religious groups in the country.