It was the same old story as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and district administration failed to swing into action on Martyrdom Day of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on Sunday.
While the MC did not bother to clean the area surrounding statues of three martyrs at Jagraon Bridge which was laced with garbage like always, no one from the Deputy Commissioner’s office visited the ancestral home of Sukhdev Thapar in Naughara Mohalla, Chaura Bazaar, Old City.
MC Commissioner Shruti Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia and Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal did not respond to phone calls.
Surprisingly, in view of the Lok Sabha polls, all the parties and their candidates visited the martyrs’ statues to garland them but did not bother to take some step for cleanliness and maintenance of the statues and home.
While H S Phoolka, Aam Aadmi Party candidate, and CPI leaders garlanded the statues at Jagraon Bridge, senior CPM leader Brinda Karat visited the ancestral home of Sukhdev Thapar in Old City.
The Congress paid tribute to the martyrs at its office.
However, while politicians were garlanding statues and paying tribute to the martyrs, garbage and wild grass had a free run at the memorial site at Jagraon bridge.
“No one bothered to clear the garbage near the site even today. What can be expected from MC on a routine basis? Politicians came here and gave speeches on ideals and ethics but they were standing right next to filth. Statues are unclean but no one bothered,” said Sanjog Gupta, a resident.
Similarly, the ancestral home of Sukhdev Thapar has failed to see any renovation despite orders from the High Court last year. Talking to Newsline, Tribhuvan Thapar from All India Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust said, “The Central government has already issued Rs 81 lakh for renovation but despite the HC orders, nothing has been done. The deadline given by the court was December 2013 and now three months have passed since the deadline has been over.”
The HC has ordered creation of a museum for schoolchildren at Thapar’s ancestral home. A report was prepared by the district administration to replace old windows, roof and ceiling of home which the trust opposed. “There is no point in replacing old-brick floors with new ones. We wanted to have a discussion with the government on the issue but there has been no response till now,” Thapar said.
Karat, who visited Thapar’s home on Sunday, said, “We will be taking up the issue of FIR against three martyrs which has still not been quashed since the British regime.”
The students of Punjab Agricultural University took out a candle march on the campus to pay homage to martyrs. A play 114 Din was staged at Punjabi Bhawan by ‘Be Live’ theatre group which depicted the days spent in Lahore jail and 114 days of protest against food served to the martyrs. People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism, an NGO, released a poster and postcard on the occasion.