March 23, 2021 11:13:04 pm
As the nation marked the 90th martyrdom day of revolutionary freedom fighter Sukhdev Thapar, there was finally a ray of hope of getting a direct and wider approach road to the martyr’s native house in Ludhiana’s Naughara Mohalla. Sukhdev was hanged to death along with Bhagat Singh and Shivram Rajguru on March 23, 1931. The day is observed as Shaheed Diwas every year.
On Tuesday, Ludhiana DC Varinder Kumar Sharma announced start of the land acquisition process for 40 square yard area that stands in the way of a wider and direct passage to the house. Sukhdev Thapar had spent his early childhood in this house.
“He along with his mother had gone to Lahore to his paternal uncle’s house after the death of his father. At that time he was five years old. Sukhdev’s family kept visiting this house off and on later. His mother came back to this house after Partition,” said Tribhuvan Thapar, a member of the martyr’s family. Cousins of Sukhdev’s father continued living in the locality while the house was given to a caretaker after he and his mother left for Lahore.
Ashok Thapar, nephew of Sukhdev Thapar, said, “For the first time, a representative from the Government of India came in the house to organise a programme in his memory. Better late than never….We have been organising hawan in the house for the past many years in the memory of the martyr.”
Ashok Thapar’s son, Tribhuvan, added: “My father and Shaheed Sukhdev were first cousins.”
Meanwhile, Ravinder Sharma, programme officer, North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala, Union Ministry of Culture, had come for the programme on Tuesday.
He informed that Deepika Pokharana, Director, North zone Cultural Centre, Patiala has taken the initiative to organise this event and NZCC, Patiala, Union Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with Ludhiana district administration is going make this event an annual feature.
Meanwhile in August 2018, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh had announced Rs 1 crore grant for maintaining and restoring the house as a memorial but that money has not been used till now.
Native house of Sukhdev Thapar is a 2-room accommodation with a passage to the house where his family organises hawan ceremony on May 15, the birthday of Sukhdev and on March 23 as well. Tribhuvan said, “We have been demanding a straight passage to the memorial site so that people can reach here easily as the house is located in old city’s congested lanes. This demand was put forth about 10 years ago. It was approved as well, but finally we see a ray of hope that a wider passage to the house will finally be built.”
Meanwhile, NZCC got a few boards installed near the memorial house a day before. The house is already under the archaeology department and needs immediate attention for its restoration.
Sukhdev’s kin said that walls of the house have started getting damaged and even the water pipes need repairing. Meanwhile, the family has formed Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust and Ashok Thapar is president of this Trust.
“A state-level programme should be organised to remember the martyr, but here, we are waiting to get his ancestral house restored,” added Ashok Thapar.
DC Varinder Kumar Sharma said, “Acquisition is a law-bound statutory process and it can’t happen with shortcuts. SDM (East) has been instructed to do it in the minimum possible time. Here, I want to mention that the passage which was available when the martyr was alive is intact as on date and is a running passage. This is an additional passage for which demand is being made by the family of the martyr. Agreeing to the demand, SDM (East) has been appointed as acquisition collector by the Punjab government.”
Tuesday’s event to mark the day was attended by Ludhiana Central MLA Surinder Dawar, Congress leader Ashwani sharma, senior deputy mayor Sham Sunder Malhotra, Councillor Anil Parthi, SDM Dr Baljinder Singh. Late in the afternoon, BJP leaders also came to pay tributes at martyr’s house.
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