A septuagenarian, who has been fighting a battle since the last eight years to get the deserved respect for his martyred son who lost his life for the country at 23, demanded permission to commit suicide from Jalandhar police commissioner Yurinder Hayer, whom he met on Thursday.
Lt Gurbinder Singh had died fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir on December 10, 2001. In 2005, the Jalandhar municipal corporation (MC) named the then newly-built private colony near Ramamandi after the martyr, which was then called Shaheed Gurbinder Singh colony. The corporation also installed boards bearing the pictures of the martyr.
Lt Gurbinder’s family was happy that at least the city had something that would keep him alive in the hearts of the people and the locals would get to know about the young man who laid down his life for his country. But the feeling was short-lived, as in 2007, some residents of the colony got it renamed as “British Town”. It was alleged that the people living in the area wanted to have some ‘stylish and modern name’ and hence the renaming.
And, thereafter, began the ordeal of the family who wanted the people of the colony and the authorities concerned to give their martyred son the deserved respect.
The family said the corporation, too, recognised the changed name of the colony, as the civic body was providing the basic facilities like water supply, electricity to the people of the colony, marking them as residents of Shaheed Gurbinder Singh/ British Town in the documents.
They said not only this, some miscreants living in the area had also disrespected their martyred son by applying black ink on the board and had even broken the board that had his photograph.
Davinder Singh, brother of Gurbinder Singh, said “I will request the parents not to allow their sons to join the army because this is what they will get in return. My father, who should rest at this age after retirement, is instead been forced to move here and there and is in depression.”
Ajit Singh, father of Lt Gurbinder Singh, told HT that they had already approached the officials many times, but in vain. “Is this is what my son deserved?” a teary-eyed Singh said.
Ajit Singh, who is a retired BSF employee, on Thursday, met police commissioner Yurinder Hayer and demanded an immediate FIR against the culprits or grant him the permission to commit suicide. “Why should I live? I had already died a long time ago. But with this behaviour, these people have killed my soul,” said the distressed father.
Meanwhile, Hayer asked additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) J Elanchezhian to look into the matter. Elanchezhian visited the place and got an FIR registered under section 434 (Mischief by destroying or moving, etc, a land-mark fixed by public authority) of Indian penal code against four persons living there.
Municipal corporation engineer (B&R) department Chaman Lal, who also visited the spot, said the official name of the colony was still Shaheed Gurbinder Singh colony. “We checked that the board was painted black and was in bad shape. So action has been taken,” he said.