|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Oct 12: The "Shaheedi Sthal' of 1966 student Martyrs' outside Government Gandhi Memorial Science College (earlier known as 'Prince of Wales') has no caretaker and it is dying a slow death.
Black Day is observed every year by the student fraternity from October 16 to 18 at the Martyrs' memorial site.
The Shaheedi-Sthal (Memorial) of martyred students located outside the College was raised to remember the sacrifices of the students killed in firing during protests lodged against shifting of Sher-e-Kashmir Agriculture University to Jammu in 1966.
Three students, namely Brij Mohan, Subhash Chandra and Gulshan Handa were killed in GGM Science College premises whereas another student leader, Gurcharan Singh was killed on October 18, 1966, in Kanak Mandi, Jammu, when a students' procession was marching through the streets of Jammu.
The 'Shaheedi-Sthal' at the entrance of the GGM Science College hardly gets attention and remains in shambles throughout the year except three days when the martyred students are remembered as heroes, who sacrificed their lives to secure future of Jammu youth.
Surprisingly, the students, pursing different courses and graduation in different city colleges, are unaware about the history of 1966 agitation and the martyrdom of the student leaders.
"The 'Shaheedi-Sthal' is in poor condition and during monsoon, it remains filled with dirty water and garbage but nobody bothers to clean it," one of the shopkeepers opposite the memorial said.
"Nobody takes care of this place throughout year but as three-day 'Black Days' (Martyrs' day) in month of October approaches, the location gets white washed, cleaned and bunch of politicians, student leaders, visits to this place to pay tributes to the student martyrs'," he added.
"After October 18, the memorial will again be left unattended," they added.
Ruing student leaders that by sitting on three-day fast and observing it as 'Black Day' or 'Martyrs' Day', the locals expressed that it is not sufficient but the real tributes to these souls is to every day clean this place, offer garlands and it should be covered to protect it from dust and rain.
Meanwhile a college student when asked about the history of the 'Shaheedi-Sthal', she expressed ignorance and said, "I don't know. I was even not aware of this memorial and why it has been set up at the college entrance."
For many students, the venue is just turned out to be a 'selfie point' and after clicking pictures, they upload them on social media.
The 'Shaheedi-Sthal' have a mention "Unity"-In Loving Memory Of the Students Killed in Police Firing On 17th October, 1966, Brij Mohan, Subhash Chander, Gulshan Handa and Gurcharan Singh."