Lahore: Pakistani authorities have renamed a roundabout in the eastern city of Lahore after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh to acknowledge his revolutionary spirit and his role in the movement against the erstwhile British rulers of the subcontinent. The Shadman Chowk of Lahore will now be known as Bhagat
Singh Chowk, officials said.

Bhagat Singh was hanged in March 1931 in the erstwhile Lahore Jail, which stood at the spot where the roundabout was built later. While authorities have changed the Hindu names of several places in the old quarters of Lahore over the years, the decision to rename a busy roundabout after Bhagat Singh has been hailed by some local residents as a bold move. District administration chief Noorul Amin Mengal recently directed the City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) to make arrangements for renaming the roundabout after Bhagat Singh within a week.

Mengal admonished CDGL's Chief Publicity Officer Nadeem Gilani for considering another request to rename the roundabout as Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Chowk. "You know who Bhagat Singh was. He was martyred at this place (Shadman Chowk) after he fought the British by raising a slogan for revolution in the subcontinent," Mengal told Gilani.

He said all Pakistani citizens, including Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians, had equal rights under the Constitution and no one should object to the decision to rename the roundabout after Bhagat Singh. Mengal ordered officials to immediately place a board indicating "Bhagat Singh Chowk" at the roundabout and to issue a public notice in the print media for seeking public comments about the move.

Mengal said the decision to rename Shadman Chowk was an acknowledgement of the revolutionary spirit of Bhagat Singh. People in Lahore celebrated the 105th birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh last Friday. Two separate events were organised by the Bhagat Singh Memorial Society that comprises 24 political and non-political organisations.

On the occasion, Ajoka Theatre screened a film of its lay "Bhagat Singh". Iqbal Virk, who hails from Bhagat Singh's ancestral village of Pinga in Jaranwala tehsil, 80 km from Lahore, said: "I am living in a house where the revolutionary hero used to live."

The primary school built in the village by Bhagat Singh's grandfather is in a pathetic condition and authorities should pay attention to it, Virk said.


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