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Punjab to identify unsung heroes of freedom struggle

IANS  Chandigarh, January 11, 2013
First Published: 15:04 IST(11/1/2013) | Last Updated: 16:15 IST(11/1/2013)

Unsung heroes who were part of historic movement and incidents during India's freedom struggle will be identified by the Punjab government and their kin are likely to get financial assistance or other facilities.

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Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has constituted a nine-member committee, headed by the state chief secretary, to formulate a policy to finalise the identification of martyrs of Kuka movement (1872), Komagata Maru episode (1914) and Jallianwala Bagh massacre (April 13, 1919), a state government spokesman said here on Thursday.

He said that the identification would be done after proper verification so that the next of their kin could be extended either a one-time financial assistance or other facilities already payable to the freedom fighters.

Badal has asked the committee to submit its report along with proposed policy to award pensions or other facilities to the descendents or legal heirs of these historic movements of Indian freedom struggle at the earliest.

"This will be a gratitude to these unsung heroes," he  said.

The Kuka movement was launched by the Namdhari sect of Sikhs in 1870s against British policies and social evils.

The Komagata Maru was a chartered Japanese ship that took hundreds of Indians, mostly from Punjab, to Vancouver in Canada in 1914. The passengers were not allowed to disembark at Vancouver and the ship was sent back to India. When it arrived near then Calcutta, there was rioting by the passengers. The British forces fired on them, killing many.

On April 13, 1919, British forces opened fire on unarmed, innocent people, including women and children, who had assembled at Amritsar's Jallianwala Bagh for a meeting. Hundreds of them were killed in the firing.

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