Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday inaugurated the Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Memorial Park marking the eve of India’s 74th Independence Day and in the memory of all those who were martyred in the Jallianwala massacre of April 13, 1919.
With the families of the martyrs treasuring the memories of their ancestors, Chief Minister Singh dedicated the memorial to the reminiscence of the people of Punjab, asserting that the second memorial at the site of the gruesome massacre was a tribute to all those unknown martyrs who had laid down their lives during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Lamenting the deadly carnage, CM Singh said that nobody knows the exact number of lives lost. "The District Collector's Office has the names of only 448 who fell victim to the bullets of the British, led by General Dyer, who fired on the orders of the then Governor of Punjab, Michael O’ Dwyer. With 1250 bullets fired on that day, the number would have appeared in thousands," said CM Singh.
The memorial has been built over 1.5 acres at a cost of Rs.3.5 crore at Amrit Anand Park, Ranjit Avenue. Interestingly, soil from villages across the state was brought to the site for the construction of the memorial to fill up the space below the sacred platform as a befitting tribute to them.
During the programme, Singh informed that a Special Research Team of historians and research scholars from the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) has been established for researching martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh along with freedom fighters who were imprisoned at the Cellular Jail in Port Blair.
"Once the study is completed, the names of more martyrs might be discovered. Adequate space has been kept on the columns of the monument to include more names in the future. Currently, the names of the officially known 488 martyrs have been engraved on the black and grey granite stone walls of the memorial," Singh said. The Chief Minister had laid the Foundation Stone for the memorial in January.
The newly inaugurated memorial consists of five white stone pillars standing upwards symbolising the spirit of the martyrs rising towards the sky. The different heights of the five pillars resemble to the age groups of martyrs, children, teenagers, youth, middle-aged and the elderly. They also signify the five fingers of the hand and the cohesive power of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation. The white colour of the stone defines the purity of their sacrifice. The central black stone on a circular platform from where these pillars arise signifies the space and the void created by the sacrifice of these martyrs.
(With Inputs from ANI)