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Congress MP in Rajya Sabha asks govt to bring back remains of last ruler of Sikh empire from UK

Duleep Singh was born in Lahore in 1838 to the renowned ruler Ranjit Singh and at the age of five the boy prince sat on the throne of the Sikh kingdom.

PTI | New Delhi |

Member of Parliament from Congress party Pratap Singh Bajwa demanded to exhume and bring back remains of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last ruler of the Sikh empire, from his grave in the English countryside in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Bajwa said the issue is close to entire Punjab and “history should be corrected.” Duleep Singh was born in Lahore in 1838 to the renowned ruler Ranjit Singh. At the age of five the boy prince sat on the throne of the Sikh kingdom. Punjab was annexed to British India after the second Anglo-Sikh war in 1849.

Duleep Singh was removed from the throne and separated from his mother Maharani Jind Kaur, who was imprisoned. Bajwa said he was taken to England and converted to Christianity at the age of 16 and lived in England under the patronage of Queen Victoria.

After 13 years of separation from his mother, he was reunited with her and upon learning of the history and Sikh identity, he decided to reconvert and gave away British pension.

In 1886, Duleep Singh set sail for India along with his family but fearing mutiny, the British detained him and placed him under hour arrest, he said, adding his grave is in the English countryside Elveden. Bajwa demanded that the maharajah’s body be exhumed and brought to Amritsar where his last rites should be performed as per Sikh traditions.

Through a separate Zero Hour mention, Ahamed Hassan of TMC raised the killing of five labourers from Murshidabad in West Bengal by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam in October.

He said the families of the labourers had allowed them to go and work in Jammu and Kashmir after Home Minister Amit Shah told the nation that total normalcy has been restored in the state after its special status was scrapped, and there is no bar on movement of people.

Stating that no one has so far claimed responsibility for the killing, he asked who was responsible and why the government was maintaining silence on the issue.

The Central government, he said, has also not given compensation to families. Manoj Kumar Jha of the RJD raised the issue of Delhi University’s decision to put the joining of ad-hoc teachers in abeyance.

He demanded putting in abeyance the August 28 DU circular which mandates that only appointment of guest teachers can be made against substantive vacancies arising for the first time in the current academic session. The decision would impact 5,000 teachers, he said.

Surendra Singh Nagar (BJP) demanded a law to take action against fake call centres who are defrauding online customers of e-commerce and insurance companies. Dona Sen of the TMC sought installing a portrait of Nandalal Bose, one of the pioneers of modern Indian art and a key figure of Contextual Modernism, in the Central Hall of Parliament.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said a parliamentary committee on installations seems to have decided that no more portraits will be installed but he allowed Sen to raise the issue because it is the birth anniversary of Bose.

While BJP’s Prabhat Jha wanted Maithili to be taught in Delhi University, Amar Patnaik of the BJD sought exemption from income tax and GST of District Mineral Foundation of Odisha pleading they were doing work on areas of drinking water, education, healthcare and pollution.