March 3, 2020 7:26:58 am
The sacrifices made by Punjabis in Andaman and Nicobar islands during the freedom struggle have not been adequately reflected, a Punjab Assembly committee has found and suggested installing their statues outside Cellular Jail.
Speaker Rana KP Singh had set up the committee comprising seven legislators to seek information regarding sacrifices made by Punjabis in the freedom struggle in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The report was presented by Congress MLA and committee Chairman Harpartap Singh Ajnala in the House on Monday.
A lot needs to be done to perpetuate the memory of such freedom fighters who were imprisoned at the islands for their part in the freedom struggle, the committee, which made several visits to the islands, said adding that it found that there is no satisfactory mention on the sacrifices made by the Punjabis in the light and sound show run by the Cellular Jail authorities.
“No road crossing, road or island is named after Punjabis. There are a large number of Punjabis living on the islands but the local authorities do not show them the respect that they deserve,” the report states.
While giving details of the recommendation of the committee, Ajnala said the statues of Punjabis who played important roles in freedom struggle and were kept at Cellular jail, referred to as ‘Kala Pani’, should be installed outside that prison by the state government in consultation with the administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
He further said the committee has also recommended that Campbell Bay island be renamed as ‘Punjabi Tapu’. “There are 350 islands in Andaman and Nicobar and they all are named after Britishers. Recently the Union government renamed four or five islands,” the report states.
Ajnala said that light and sound programme should be organised at war memorials in the state to highlight the role of Punjabis in the freedom struggle.
Several Sikh activists of the Ghadar Lehar, Komagata Maru, Babbar Lehar, Kuka Lehar, president of Indian Independence League Dewan Singh were lodged at Cellular Jail.
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