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Khyber: Gurdwara in memory of martyrs to be built

AMRITSAR: To honour valour and sacrifice of 21 Sikh soldiers in the Battle of Saragarhi, New York-based Saragarhi Foundation has announced it is going to assemble a gurdwara at Hangu, close to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Battle of Saragarhi was once fought on September 12, 1897 through a small platoon of 36th Sikh Regiment of British Indian Army’s Bengal Infantry, led through Havildar Ishar Singh, against some 10,000 Pashtun tribals close to Samana Ridge, which is now in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The soldiers fought for 6 hours and 45 mins ahead of all 21 fell rather than surrender. There is a Saragarhi gurdwara in Ferozepur too.

Punjab chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh in 2017 wrote a book at the fight, called “The 36th Sikhs in the Tirah Campaign 1897-98 — Saragarhi and the Defence of the Samana Forts.”

Foundation stone to be laid in Feb-end

Gurinderpal Singh Josan, president of the root, advised NewsTread on phone from New York on Tuesday that he will lead a five-member delegation of Sanjha Punjab, a company of Indian Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims, to Hangu in February-end to put foundation stone of the gurdwara to be named ‘Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Saragarhi Shaheedan Di Yaad Vich.’ The Saragarhi hill, where the fight was once fought, is ready 41 km from Hangu.

Hangu-based chairman of Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sunny Singh Khalsa stated locals as well as Sikhs and Hindus from Peshawar and Nankana Sahib had contributed cash for purchase of around 3,200 square feet of land at Prem Nagar in Hangu for the commemorative gurdwara. Hangu is ready 120 km from Peshawar and around 150 km from the Afghanistan border, in keeping with Sunny Singh Khalsa.

Some Sikhs and other vacationers have started visiting Saragarhi just lately, he stated. “After finishing a treacherous journey to the Saragarhi hill, they pay homage to the Sikh opponents and I consider that after a gurdwara will come up in memory of the martyrs of Saragarhi, a lot of Pakistani as well as world vacationers will start visiting this faraway spot of Pakistan.”

There is a small memorial on the Saragarhi hill, built through the British soldiers, which has names of the entire 21 Sikh soldiers engraved on it.

TOI additionally talked to two residents of Prem Nagar, a Hindu and a Muslim, who had been serious about the gurdwara being in-built memory of the martyrs of Saragarhi. Ayub Khan, a neighborhood taxi motive force stated he may just foresee an influx of devotees to his little-known village. ”We are excited to listen to the scoop of a gurdwara being erected in memory of the martyrs of Saragarhi.”

Pandit Haridyal Sandhu, a neighborhood Hindu priest, stated Prem Nagar is home to a Hindu temple, two churches and a mosque. The proposed gurdwara, he stated, would present an ideal instance of communal cohesion. “Even many Pakistanis don’t know a lot concerning the Battle of Saragarhi and now this place will also become standard,” he added.

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