Three memorials for Punjab martyrs: CM Three memorials for Punjab martyrs: CM - Express India Fatehgarh sahib The Punjab government has decided to set up three memorials for its martyrs. While one such memorial would come up in Chhappar Chiri in memory of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, two others would come up at Sangrur and Gurdaspur, in the memory of thousands of people who lost their lives in the mass killings. This was announced by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, while paying tributes to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on the tercentenary celebrations of the Sirhind Fateh Diwas, on Friday. The celebrations were held on the culmination of the Fateh Diwas march, from Nanded in [COLOR=#0000FF ! important][COLOR=#0000FF ! important]Maharashtra[/COLOR][/COLOR] to Fatehgarh Sahib, covering 2,500 kms in about a month and a half. Badal said the memorial at Chhappar Chiri would be set up in 20 [COLOR=#0000FF ! important][COLOR=#0000FF ! important]acres[/COLOR][/COLOR] and would have a [COLOR=#0000FF ! important][COLOR=#0000FF ! important]museum[/COLOR][/COLOR], a fateh minar and a light and sound show to highlight the bravery of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. Besides, it will also have statues of Banda Singh Bahadur and his generals Fateh Singh and Baaz Singh. The other two memorials, Badal said, would come up at Kup Rohira near Malerkotla in Sangrur and near Kahnuwan in Gurdaspur district, where thousands of Sikhs sacrificed their lives fighting the Mughals. He said these memorials would go a long way to perpetuate the memory of these great historic events which are an integral part of our rich legacy. Addressing the gathering, Badal dared the Congress party to shun its nefarious designs to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state. He criticised the Congress for with working through its agents to create communal tension in the state as it had no political agenda of its own. The chief minister said Punjab had a history of sacrifices and urged the people of the state to draw inspiration from the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs from the state. He also called for ending the menace of drug addiction as the great Sikh general had played a vanguard role in the eradication of intoxicants and abolition of zamindari system during his regime. BJP national president Nitin Gadkari said he was happy to be part of this historic celebration. He said this history should provide an inspiration for the coming generations not only in Punjab but all over the country. “It will give us strength for our future,” he said. Earlier, the CM released commemorative coins on and a souvenir issued by the SGPC. A postal envelope issued by the Punjab Post and Telegraph department was also dedicated to the Sirhind victory day. The CM also honoured Kaka Inderjit Singh from Chak Fateh Singhwala, the lineal descendent of Baba Fateh Singh, a brave soldier of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur who killed Suba Sirhind Wazir Khan in the battlefield of Chhappar Chiri. The family members of Justice Mota Singh from UK, an eminent Sikh scholar Harnam Singh Shan, Head Damdami Takshal Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, father of Indian Hockey Rajpal Singh, Inderjit Kaur head of Pingalwara, and Baba Balbir Singh, the of Buddha Dal. The CM, along with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal paid obeisance at the Gurdwara Sri Fatehgarh Sahib and laid the foundation stone of the museum to depict the life and philosophy of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to be constructed by the SGPC. Paying glorious tributes to the great warrior and reformist Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal called upon the people to follow his teachings. One of the most revolutionary acts of Banda Bahadur, after establishing his authority in Punjab, was the abolition of the zamindari system, and granting of proprietary rights to the actual tillers of the land. In his address, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar appealed to the people to encourage the younger generation to participate on such occasions. Earlier, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh in a message to the Sikh panth, emphasised the need to launch a crusade against the menace of drug addiction, female foeticide and adherence to the code of Sikh Rehat Maryada (code of Sikh living). He also called upon the public to help in uplift of the poor. Prominent among others who spoke included BJP national general secretary and MP Balbir Punj, local government minister Manoranjan Kalia, SAD secretary general Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhundar and Prem Singh Chandumajra, minister from J&K Tarlochan Singh Wazir, Head Damdami Taksal Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, former jathedars of Sri Akal Takht Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti and Manjit Singh. The function was also attended by the five jathedars of Takhts, prominent heads of the religious and social organisations, SGPC members, SAD-BJP leaders and workers. Sikh hardliners disrupt Gadkari’s address, raise slogans Sikh hardliners created a flutter at the Fateh Diwas tercentenary celebrations here, as they disrupted the address of BJP national president Nitin Gadkari by raising slogans. The sloganeering continued for a few minutes and Gadkari was forced to stop his address, only to start again, after the police cleared the pandal. The Sikh hardliners, mainly supporters of Shiromani Akali Dal ([COLOR=#0000FF ! important][COLOR=#0000FF ! important]Amritsar[/COLOR][/COLOR]), were protesting the SGPC action of allowing Gadkari to speak and honour him, while disallowing SAD (A) chief Simranjit Singh Mann from addressing the gathering. Mann had sought time to address the gathering, but was denied so. Gadkari paid tributes to Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and his sacrifices, while lauding the role of the SAD-BJP regime in Punjab in highlighting the supreme sacrifices made by such brave men during the past. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal later condemned the action of Mann’s supporters and urged the audience to pass a resolution condemning their action. The cops, who had nabbed two of the hardliners attempting disruption at the celebrations, had to free them as the other hardliners raised a hue and cry outside the pandal and gheraoed the cops. Don’t play into hands of forces determined to dilute Sikh identity: Dal Khalsa [COLOR=#0000FF ! important][COLOR=#0000FF ! important]HOSHIARPUR[/COLOR][/COLOR] : On the occasion of tercentenary of the Fateh Diwas, the Dal Khalsa has called upon all the Sikhs to recognise and reject the leadership which is damaging the collective cause of Sikhs for its personal benefits.He urged the Akali leaders to introspect and not function as tools in the hands of the forces determined to dilute the Sikh identity. In a policy statement released, chief H S Dhami said they were convinced that the future of Sikhs lies in seeking and obtaining the right to self-determination. He said in consonance with the spirit of celebrations of the tercentenary of the Sikh rule, we urge the Punjab government to release all detainees languishing in jails that took to arms to establish Sikh state in recent times. “It was a matter of great pride that Sikhs have a legacy of sovereignty. They have self-ruled for many decades,” he said. CM announces remissions for prisoners Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal ordered remissions of one month to one year for prisoners lodged in various Punjab jails. Announcing the remissions ordered by his government, Badal said while those prisoners facing jail imprisonment of 10 years to 20 years would get one year remission in their jail term, while those facing jail terms of seven years to ten years would get remission of nine months. Similarly, remission of six months was announced for those prisoners awarded imprisonment of five to seven years, while remission of three months was announced for those prisoners sentence to jail term of three to five years and remission of one month for those prisoners with less than three year jail term.