Chandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday decided to hand over the management of the Saragarhi Memorial/Gurdwara to the administration of Saragarhi Memorial Management Trust, Ferozepur, to ensure better upkeep of the historic site.
The Trust comprises highly revered serving army men as well as ex-servicemen as its trustees, whom the cabinet found to be best equipped to take on the task of protecting and maintaining the important site, located at Ferozepur Cantt. in district Ferozepur.
The cabinet simultaneously cancelled the orders of the previous SAD-BJP government entrusting the management of the gurdwara to Baba Nand Singh Gurdwara Nanaksar Kaleran, Jagraon, for a period of thirty years, an official spokesperson disclosed here after a meeting of the state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. The SAD-BJP government had issued the orders after Chief Organizer Baba Lakha Singh, Gurdwara Nanaksar Kalera, Jagraon, submitted an application seeking handing over of the services of maintenance of the Saragarhi Gurdwara to them.
Captain Amarinder had announced his government’s intent to transfer the upkeep of the gurdwara to the Trust at the event to launch his book on the historic Saragarhi battle of September 12, 1897. On this date, under the command of Havildar Ishar Singh, 21 Jawans, and one NCO, attained martyrdom after killing hundreds of tribesman who had attacked the Saragarhi outpost.
The British government had conferred the 21 soldiers martyred in the Last Stand of the 36th Sikhs with highest Battle Honour of "Indian Order of Merit grade II". This day is celebrated on September 12 every year in Gurdwara Saragarhi Sahib to commemorate the sacrifices of these men. In addition, Gurupurbs and Kirtan Darbars are organized at Saragarhi Gurdwara from time to time.
Captain Amarinder, himself an ex-Army man, made it clear that the various memorials of martyrs in Punjab would not be allowed to deteriorate under his regime, as happened under the previous government. These memorials of our brave soldiers would be provided the kind of maintenance and upkeep they deserve, the Chief Minister reiterated at the cabinet meeting.