Pakistani advocate Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi of Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation, who has filed a plea in the Lahore high court for early hearing of the case to prove innocence of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev who were hanged on March 23, 1931, is all set to file an amended petition in the court to make the British government a party in the case. The three young men were sentenced to death in the murder case of British police officer John P Saunders.
“We will seek an apology from the British government. Queen Elizabeth should come to Shadman Chowk, Lahore, where the three freedom fighters were hanged, and tender an apology to the people of India and Pakistan for killing their heroes. We will also demand compensation to the kin of the martyrs from the British government,” said Qureshi, who is visiting Bhagat Singh’s kin in Hoshiarpur, on Tuesday.
To authenticate his plea that Bhagat Singh and his comrades were revolutionaries and not killers, the petitioner has cited the FIR on Saunders’ killing which was registered with Anarkali police station in Lahore on December 17, 1928, against two unknown gunmen under sections 302 (murder) and other charges as per the Indian Penal Code. He has submitted in the court that the tribunal constituted by the then Punjab governor did not give a fair opportunity to the defence and awarded the death penalty without hearing the 450 witnesses.
In February, a division bench of the Lahore HC had asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to constitute a larger bench to hear the petition but the same is yet to come by. Qureshi has filed a fresh plea to speed up the case.
“We will file an amended petition at the time of fresh hearing to make British government a party in the case as it was at its behest that Bhagat Singh and others were convicted in a false case,” Qureshi told the media.
For Bhagat Singh’s family, he has brought water from the hand pump and foliage of the legendry mango tree standing in the ancestral home of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in Banga village of Faisalabad, for his nieces Gurjit Kaur and Bhupinder Kaur in Hoshiarpur.
“Bhagat Singh is revered by the people of Pakistan too. We hope that the judiciary, which is now free and fair, will do justice in the case and exonerate the legend from the false charges of murder,” said Qureshi.