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Bhagat Singh's kin demand airport to be named after the martyr

September 28, 2015 15:53 IST

As the country marks the 108th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a close relative of the martyr on Monday urged the Centre to name the new civil air terminal in Chandigarh after the legendary freedom fighter "without further delay".

Bhagat Singh's 57-year-old nephew, Abhay Singh Sandhu claimed, "The decision to name the airport after Bhagat Singh was taken by the Punjab Government in 2007 during his birth centenary celebrations. Later, the Punjab Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution in this regard."

Notably, the Punjab government had been demanding that the airport be named as 'Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Shaheed Bhagat Singh International airport, Mohali'.

However, Haryana government had objected to 'Mohali' word and insisted on keeping its name after Chandigarh, though the state government had maintained it had no objection over the use of Bhagat Singh's name.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11 inaugurated the new civil air terminal building at ChandigarhAirport, which will handle both domestic as well as international flights.

"But when it was inaugurated, the Shaheed's name was ignored. This is an insult to the martyrs. When (Punjab)

Government itself had proposed to name the airport after the martyr, then it should have been done. Moreover, neighbouring Haryana did not raise any objection over his name. Former civil aviation minister Ajit Singh had also given his nod, then where does the problem lie?" Sadhu asked.

"I want to clarify that there was no demand from the family that the airport be named after Sardar Bhagat Singh," he claimed.

"The proposal came from the government's side. However, people now feel it as an insult to the great martyr who made supreme sacrifice for the sake of this country," he said.

Sandhu said that the Centre should issue a notification and name the airport after Bhagat Singh without further delay.

He also said that different organisations connected with Bhagat Singh across the country and common people, who were inspired by him, have decided to hold a demonstration in Chandigarh on October 11 to protest the "insult heaped on the freedom fighter who played a stellar role to free the country from British rule."

Meanwhile, Sandhu on Monday reiterated that the files pertaining to Bhagat Singh and Sardar Ajit Singh, a freedom fighter, be declassified.

He also claimed that the martyr's family had been kept under "surveillance" for several years and demanded that the government must declassify all files pertaining to them.

Sandhu said the family had been on the radar since the British rule and claimed that "even after the country gained freedom, we were under the watch of the intelligence agencies."

"We want to know everything which the then British government wrote about Sardar Ajit Singh and Shaheed Bhagat Singh. All records should be declassified. Why should government hide (records). We are hoping that the present Central government will take a step in this regard soon," Sandhu said.

Sandhu, son of Bhagat Singh's younger brother Sardar Kulbir Singh, was born in 1914 and was Jansangh MLA from Ferozepur.

"My father, late Sardar Kulbir Singh, tried to obtain files or records pertaining to the two which have been kept in

National Archives in Delhi," Sandhu said, adding that over the years, they had been told that the files were "secret" and not transferable for 20-30 years.

"My father passed away in 1983, after which when we tried to raise the demand for the access of the document, we were given the same answer," he alleged.

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