On the 88th martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev, Pakistan based Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation organised a commemoration day in the heart of Lahore on Saturday (23 May 2019) at Shadman Chowk under the leadership of Foundation's chief and Pakistan supreme court lawyer Abdul Rashid Qureshi.
In February 2018, Qureshi had filed a petition in Lahore High Court asking to direct the concerned authorities to rename Shadman Chowk after Bhagat Singh, given Shadman Chowk was built at the same spot where Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev were hanged till death in a British prison on 23 March 1931. The chowk was only built after the prison’s demolition in 1961.
Acting on the filed petition, the Lahore High Court had directed Mayor of Lahore in September 2018, to take decision on renaming the chowk. Till now, no official notification or orders have been issued in this regard by Lahore administration. However, the district administration of Lahore for the first time in its official documentation acknowledged Shadman Chowk as “Bhagat Singh Chowk” and addressed Bhagat Singh and his companions as “Great Revolutionary Leaders" as reported by The Indian Express based on a copy of the letter it possesses.
The letter quoted Additional Deputy Commissioner (Headquarters), Lahore having written, “I have been directed to request that appropriate security arrangements may be ensured for 88th anniversary of great revolutionary leaders Bhagat Singh and his companions Raj Guru and Sukhdev on Saturday 23rd March, 2019 at Bhagat Singh Chowk (Shadman Chowk), Lahore to avoid any untoward incident”.
Qureshi said, "This is a big victory for Bhagat Singh’s followers in Pakistan who are trying to keep his spirit, values, teachings and philosophy alive amid the tension between the two countries. We are hoping that soon an official notification will also be issued announcing renaming of the chowk. We are also trying to get statues of the martyrs installed at the chowk as it is demand of common people of Pakistan.”
The aura at Shadman Chowk remained sombre as Lahore residents, including women and children, came together with lighted candles to pay tribute to the valiant martyrs and reverberated to the chants of ‘Bhagat Singh Zinda Hai’ and ‘Shaheed Bhagat Singh Teri SochTey, Pehra Deyange Thok Ke".