The Lahore police Saturday submitted in a local court a copy of the FIR which was registered in 1928 against ‘unidentified’ persons at Anarkali police station in the murder case of British police official John Saunders. The court then handed over a copy of the FIR to Lahore-based advocate and petitioner Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, the chairman of Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation.
Qureshi had filed a petition seeking an attested copy of the FIR registered in the case in which martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged to death by the British at Shadman Chowk in Lahore, Pakistan in 1931.
“The names of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru are not mentioned in the FIR anywhere. It was, in fact, registered against unidentified gunmen,” said Qureshi. He has also filed a petition in Lahore High Court seeking reopening of Saunders’ murder case to prove three martyrs as ‘innocent’.
Qureshi said that more than eight decades after the hanging, the Lahore police searched through the records of the Anarkali police station on the court’s order and managed to find the FIR in the Saunders’ murder case.
Written in Urdu, the FIR was registered with the Anarkali police station on December 17, 1928 at 4.30 pm against two “unknown gunmen”. An official of the Anarkali police was the complainant. The complainant-cum-eyewitness said the man he followed was “5 ft 5 inch, had a Hindu face, small moustache, having slim and strong body, wearing white trouser (pyjama) and grey shirt (kurta) and also wearing small black Christi-like hat.”
“The case was registered under Sections 302,120 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). An inspector of the Lahore police’s legal branch on Saturday handed over the attested copy of the FIR in a sealed envelope to additional district and sessions judge (Lahore) Tariq Mahmood Zargham,” said Qureshi in a statement issued to the media.
He said special judges of the tribunal handling Bhagat Singh’s case awarded death sentence to him without hearing 450 witnesses in the case. Bhagat Singh’s lawyers were not given the opportunity of cross-questioning them, Qureshi added.
“I want to establish Bhagat Singh’s innocence in the Saunders case,” he said. The Lahore High Court has referred the case to the chief justice for the constitution of a larger bench to hear the case.