Lahore: Eight decades after Bhagat Singh's execution by the British, a petition has been filed in a Pakistani court seeking the reopening of the freedom fighter's case so that he can be declared innocent.
Imtiaz Rasheed Qureshi of the Save The Judiciary Committee filed the petition in the Lahore High Court. He said Bhagat Singh, who was sentenced to death by the British government and hanged in Lahore in March 1931, was a freedom fighter of the subcontinent.
"Singh was first given life imprisonment but later awarded the death sentence. He was convicted in a fake case," Qureshi said in his petition.
Singh was respected by Sikhs and Muslims alike and Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah too had paid tribute to the freedom fighter in the erstwhile Central Legislative Assembly, Qureshi said.
"I therefore request the court to reopen the case of Singh and declare him innocent," Qureshi said in his petition. Singh and a companion were arrested after they lobbed two bombs inside the Central Legislative Assembly in April 1929.
Though no one was killed in the incident, Singh was later convicted of shooting and killing a British police officer and sentenced to death.
The Lahore High Court is yet to decide another petition, which has been pending for about three months, regarding the renaming of Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh. The roundabout stands at the spot where Singh was hanged.
Hardline and extremist groups like the Jamaat-ud-Dawah have opposed moves by civil society groups and NGOs to rename the spot after Singh. They have warned the groups not to rename the roundabout after a "Hindu" freedom fighter.