New Delhi: A video clip claiming that a Pakistani lawyer filed a petition to prove freedom fighter Bhagat Singh’s innocence in the Lahore Conspiracy Case has been going viral on messaging platform WhatsApp for the past few days.
In the short video, two news anchors can be seen interviewing a Pakistani lawyer named Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi who claims to have filed a petition for Bhagat Singh’s innocence. Qureshi is the president of Pakistan’s Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation.
What does the video claim?
According to the video, Qureshi has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court to fast track Bhagat Singh’s case pertaining to the Lahore Conspiracy case. The clip also claims that the Pakistani court has agreed to the lawyer’s petition.
The truth behind the claim
Zee Media conducted an investigation on the matter and found that the claims made in the video are true. Pakistani lawyer Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi filed a petition to prove Bhagat Singh’s innocence in the Lahore Conspiracy case.
However, our investigator found that the video is old and was circulated several years back and features Pakistani news channel Jio News’ anchors. Readers must also note that the news of this petition for Bhagat Singh was reported by Indian media, including Zee in 2016-2018.
What is the Lahore Conspiracy case against Bhagat Singh?
Great Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was sentenced to death in the Lahore Conspiracy case for the killing of John Saunders about 90 years back. He along with two of his friends was hanged till death on March 23, 1931.
During the hearing, the Lahore Police presented the FIR of this case before the court. This FIR, which was registered in the Urdu language on December 17, 1928, names two unidentified gunmen.
What is the basis of the petition?
According to lawyer Qureshi, an officer of the Anarkali police station, where the FIR against Bhagat Singh was filed, was the complainant in this case. In the FIR, the complainant-cum-eyewitness said that the person he followed was “5 feet 5 inches, looked like a Hindu, had short moustache, slim and strong body, and white trousers (pyjama), grey shirt (kurta) and a small black Christie-like cap”.
Qureshi said that the special judges of the tribunal dealing with Bhagat Singh’s case sentenced him to death without hearing 450 witnesses in the case.
The lawyer also claims that Bhagat Singh’s advocates were not even given a chance to cross-examine them and thus, he believes they were not given a fair trial and want to prove the innocence of Bhagat Singh in the Saunders case.”
Qureshi hopes that if a Pakistani court quashes the verdict against Bhagat Singh, the British government can be pressured to apologize for the “false trial”.