Chandigarh, April 19 (IANS) The Punjab government on Wednesday decided to hand over the management of the Saragarhi memorial and a gurdwara in Ferozepur to the Saragarhi Memorial Management Trust to ensure better upkeep of the historic site.
The Ferozepur-based trust, comprising serving armymen and ex-servicemen, has been entrusted with the memorial situated at Ferozepur Cantt., a government spokesperson said here.
A meeting here of the state Cabinet simultaneously cancelled the previous SAD-BJP government’s orders to entrust management of the gurdwara to Baba Nand Singh Gurdwara, Nanaksar Kaleran, Jagraon, for 30 years, the spokesperson said.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had earlier announced his government’s intention to transfer the upkeep of the gurdwara to the trust during the launch of his book on the historic battle of Saragarhi — in the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) — of September 12, 1897.
On this date, under the command of Havildar Ishar Singh, 21 soldiers and one non-commissioned officer made the supreme sacrifice after killing hundreds of tribesmen who had attacked the Saragarhi outpost.
The British government had conferred on the martyred soldiers of the 36th Sikhs (now the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment) with its highest battle honour of ‘Indian Order of Merit Grade II’.
A former Army Captain, Amarinder Singh said memorials of martyrs in Punjab would not be allowed to deteriorate during the Congress rule in the state.