Chandigarh, Sep 28: As the country marks the 108th birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, a close relative of the martyr today urged the Centre to name the new civil air terminal here after the legendary freedom fighter "without further delay".
Bhagat Singh's 57-year-old nephew, Abhay Singh Sandhu claimed, "The decision to name the airport after Bhagat Singh was taken by the Punjab Government in 2007 during his birth centenary celebrations. Later, the Punjab Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution in this regard."
Notably, the Punjab government had been demanding that the airport be named as 'Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Shaheed Bhagat Singh International airport, Mohali'.
However, Haryana government had objected to 'Mohali' word and insisted on keeping its name after Chandigarh, though the state government had maintained it had no objection over the use of Bhagat Singh's name.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11 inaugurated the new civil air terminal building at Chandigarh Airport, which will handle both domestic as well as international flights. "But when it was inaugurated, the Shaheed's name was ignored.
This is an insult to the martyrs. When (Punjab) Government itself had proposed to name the airport after the martyr, then it should have been done. Moreover, neighbouring Haryana did not raise any objection over his name.
Former Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had also given his nod, then where does the problem lie?" Sadhu asked. "I want to clarify that there was no demand from the family that the airport be named after Sardar Bhagat Singh," he claimed.
"The proposal came from the government's side. However, people now feel it as an insult to the great martyr who made supreme sacrifice for the sake of this country," he said. Sandhu said that the Centre should issue a notification and name the airport after Bhagat Singh without further delay.
He also said that different organisations connected with Bhagat Singh across the country and common people, who were inspired by him, have decided to hold a demonstration in Chandigarh on October 11 to protest the "insult heaped on the freedom fighter who played a stellar role to free the country from British rule."