Historical items related to ex-prez Giani Zail Singh go missing from Faridkot jail cell

By, Faridkot
Apr 11, 2023 11:55 PM IST

Former President late Giani Zail Singh was held captive for five years from 1938 to 1943 by the British during freedom struggle

The historical items linked to former President Giani Zail Singh have gone missing from the century-old 10X10 feet barrack at the old Faridkot Jail where the senior Congress leader was held captive for five years from 1938 to 1943 by the British.

The present picture of the jail where Giani Zail Singh was kept captive. (HT Photo)
The present picture of the jail where Giani Zail Singh was kept captive. (HT Photo)

He had been jailed for backing the Praja Mandal movement, a campaign for democratic rights inside the princely states against both the feudal princes and the British. The barrack has been in ruins after the jail was shifted outside of the city in 2014. The land was transferred to the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS).

In February 2014, Punjab Cultural and archaeological department issued a notification declaring the area around the jail, including the memorial barrack, as a protected monument under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964. Its upkeep was vested with BFUHS.

As per information, some unidentified persons broke into the old jail premises and damaged the walls of the historic jail cell. The historical items including shackles in which Zail Singh was kept, iron rods of the barracks, Urdu writings, former president’s pictures and some other items were found missing from the prison cell.

“This happened a few weeks back but the matter came to light today. We haven’t registered any formal complaint with the police yet,” a university official, who didn’t wish to be named, said.

As per sources, the items were stolen by persons who had entered the jail by breaking the walls. BFUHS has already started the repair work.

Former President, the first Sikh to attain that position, died in a road accident in Rupnagar on December 25, 1994.

Punjab Vidhan Sabha speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan, who is the grandnephew of Zail Singh, said that has come to know that the historical items related to Giani ji are missing. “This is very unfortunate, I will enquire about this and I will also ask the concerned officials to file a report on the missing items,” he added.

Dr SP Singh, the officiating registrar of BFUHS, said that he took the charge just a few days back and has no knowledge of the items inside the old jail premises. “I have no knowledge about the missing historical items and breaking in of the old jail premises,” he added.

In 2015, former chief minister and senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal raised the issue with the then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal following which a 33 lakh roadmap for renovation was drawn up. However, no action followed. Even during the Congress regime from 2017-2022, nothing was done to preserve the site.


    Parteek Singh Mahal is a multimedia correspondent based at Faridkot in Punjab. He covers medical education, politics and Punjab police.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, September 22, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals