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Haryana Govt. not interested in building the Ambala monument in the memory of 1857 martyrs?
It seems Haryana's Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is giving step motherly treatment to freedom fighters and martyrs of freedom movement in setting up of memorials.

While the state Govt. has set up a Chair and Institute of Social Sciences with lavish budget in Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak in the name of CM's father late Ch. Ranbir Singh Hooda, a freedom fighter and member of constituent assembly, beside installing about half a dozen statues in his memory across the state, on the other hand site of a proposed monument to be set up at Ambala in the memory of martyrs of 1857 revolt against British is not seeing light of day.

The decision to set up a national level monument in the memory of martyrs of 1857 revolt was taken at a meeting headed by Hooda in 2007. It is interesting to mention here that in 2007 Govt. of India has decided to observe 150th anniversary of revolt in befitting manner all over the country.

At national level, a committee was set up under the chairmanship of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and in Haryana like other states under the chairmanship of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. It was decided to build up a national level monument near Ambala on National Highway. A helipad was also planned so that foreign dignitaries visiting Delhi could also visit the site and pay homage to hundreds of martyrs.

Arun Johar, retired Joint Director from Haryana's Public Relations department said that tenders were floated for submitting design of the proposed monument. Hooda after seeing the various presentations cleared the design of a Lucknow based architect and monetary provision was made in the budget for the construction of site.

Ironically six years have passed and the work is yet to start. SMS sent by this Citizen Journalist to Sunil Parti, Shiv Bhattia and Kewal Dhingra, the media advisers to Hooda to know the version of the State Govt. got no response. Ambala's Deputy Commissioner Pandrudu confirmed over the phone that work for construction of monument has not yet started.

Anil Vij, BJP MLA from Ambala told that he had raised the issue during the chief ministership of Hooda's predecessor Om Parkash Choutala stating that contrary to the popular belief Indian army had revolted in 1857 in Ambala prior to Meerut.

At that time Choutala had stated that Govt. will examine this claim. Vij regretted that he was hopeful that Hooda being son of a freedom fighter will do something on the issue. However, despite repeated assurance on the floor of house he has done nothing in this direction.

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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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