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Major facelift for Jallianwala Bagh in offing as govt to mark centenary of massacre in 2019

twitter-logoPTI | November 23, 2018 | Updated 19:30 IST

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) The Jallianwala Bagh memorial will be given a facelift as part of government's plans to mark the centenary year of the 1919 massacre, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said Friday. The government has prepared a blueprint for the year-long commemoration of the massacre that took place on April 13, 1919 as part of its efforts to mark the lives of eminent personalities and events of historical importance, said Sharma who visited the site Friday. The Tourism Ministry along with the Culture Ministry will renovate this historical site by creating suitable infrastructure for providing basic amenities for tourists, he said. "We will also have an interpretation centre, a musical fountain and a light and sound show telling the story of what happened here. We will also develop the site around the well where people gave up their lives," the minister said. While the Tourism Ministry has already earmarked Rs eight crore for the project, the Culture Ministry will provide additional funds. On the harvest festival of Baisakhi, about 15,000 civilians had gathered at Jallianwala Bagh near the Golden Temple for a peaceful protest against the arrest and deportation of two national leaders, Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew. Around 50 troops of the British Indian Army, under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer, fired on the crowd. A number of people had jumped into a well on the premises to save themselves from the firing. Later, 120 bodies were recovered from the well. The government is also planning to issue commemorative coins, postage stamps and will organise 'kavi sammelans', exhibition, seminars around the Jallianwala Bagh memorial. "As we prepare for remembrance of the '100 years of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre' in 2019, it shall undergo necessary redevelopment and upgradation. Jallianwala Bagh shall continue to remind the young generation about the sacrifices made in freedom struggle," Sharma tweeted. The National Implementation Committee headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh has formed a three-member panel comprising former Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, ex-chairman of the National Commission for Minorities Tarlochan Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik, for five years to oversee the commemoration. The government is currently commemorating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh Guru. PTI ASG AAR

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