Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday paid tributes to the soldiers of the historic Saragarhi battle on its 121st anniversary, and assured that the state-of-the-art Saragarhi Memorial would be constructed before the next anniversary of the event.
After paying obeisance in Gurdwara Saragarhi during the state-level martyrdom day function, the CM went to Barki Square to pay floral tributes to the great martyrs who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pak war.
While addressing the gathering at the Saragarhi Gurdwara Complex, Amarinder recalled the exemplary valour of the 22 soldiers of the 36 Sikhs stationed near Samana ridge (now in Pakistan), who laid down their lives after a fierce battle following an attack by nearly 10,000 Afghans on September 12, 1897.
The CM said that soldiers of the Sikh regiment, led by Havildar Ishar Singh along with Naik Lal Singh, Lance Naik Chanda Singh, showed exemplary courage and heroism by fighting against 10000 Afghans to their last breath.
The model depicting the architectural and layout work for the state-of-the-art memorial had already been finalised, said Amarinder, adding that the Saragarhi Memorial Management Committee under its Chairman Maj Gen J S Sandhu, GOC, 7 Infantry Division would oversee the entire construction work of the Memorial. He assured the management committee that his government would extend full support in the execution of the iconic project as a befitting tribute to the Saragarhi martyrs.
Amarinder announced that the state government, as a part of its anti-drugs campaign, would examine the demand to establish a modern Rehabilitation Center.
The CM also honoured 11 family members of the Saragarhi martyrs with a saropa and lohi. They included Santokh Singh, the kin of Havildar Ishar Singh; Balraj Singh, Kabal Singh and Sarabjit Singh, the kins of Naik Lal Singh; Harbans Singh, kin of Lance Naik Chanda Singh; Gurnek Singh, kin of Sepoy Utam Singh; Mahinder Singh, kin of Sepoy Narain Singh; Joginder Singh, kin of Bhagwan Singh; Balwinder Singh, Raghubir Singh and Jaspal Singh, kins of Sepoy Sahib Singh.
In recognition of their gallant service, Amarinder honoured the next of kin of 28 soldiers martyred while serving in various regiments.
These included the Sikh regiment, Sikh LI, Armoured Corps, Punjab Regiment, 16 Guard, Mahar Regiment, BEG Kirkee, Artillery (282 Medium Regiment), Armed Regiment, 08 Sikh, 10 Sikh, 4 JAK RIF (28 RR), 51 Field Regiment (Artillery), 113 Engineers Regiment, 13 Sikh LI, 2 Sikh, 21 Sikh, 92 Field Regiment (Artillery), 19 Punjab and 332 Medium Regiment.