Flag lowering ceremony at Hussainiwala Border, Far side is Pakistan and near side is India
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Hussainiwala(ਹੁਸੈਨੀਵਾਲਾ)is a village in Firozpur district in Punjab state, India. It lies near the banks of the Sutlej river. The village is on the border with Pakistan, opposite the Pakistani village of Ganda Singh Wala.
The National Martyrs Memorial
The famous National Martyrs Memorial marks the location where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were cremated on March 23, 1931 on the banks of the Sutlej river. It is also the cremation place of B.K. Dutta (Batukeshwar Dutt) (died 1965) who was also involved in bombing the Central Legislative Assembly with Bhagat Singh. His last wish was to be cremated at the place where Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev where cremated. The mother of Bhagat Singh, Vidyawati, was also cremated there in accordance with her last wish, and later she was awarded the title of Punjab Mata (Mother of Punjab).the border is also seen by many peoples of other countries and cities also.
The National Martyrs Memorial Hussainiwala, built in 1968, depicts an irrepressible revolutionary spirit of the three National Martyrs, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The memorial is located just one km from the India-Pakistan border on the Indian side and has memorials of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. After Partition, the cremation spot went to Pakistan but on January 17, 1961, this martyr's land was received when India gave 12 villages near the Sulemanki Headworks (Fazilka) to Pakistan. But the irony of the fate is that during 1971 Indo-Pak war, the statues of these very martyrs were removed and taken away by Pakistan army and have not been returned till today. B.K. Dutt was also cremated here on 19 July 1965 and in accordance with his last wishes. Bhagat Singh's mother, Punjab Mata Vidyawati, was also cremated here in accordance with her last wish.
This memorial was damaged by the withdrawing Pakistani troops in 1972. They also removed the busts of the three national heroes during 1971 war when the area was captured by Pakistani troops. The memorial came up once again in 1973 due to the efforts of the then Punjab Chief Minister, Giani Zail Singh.
Every year, on the 23rd of March, the Shaheedi Mela is observed at this National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala, in which thousands of people pay their homage. The day is also observed across the state of Punjab.
India - Pakistan Border
The border crossing is now closed. Until 1970, it was the principal road crossing between India and Pakistan, and was a trade route for truckers, mostly for the import of Kandahari Angoor (dehydrated grapes) and other fruits and food products from Pakistan and Afghanistan. The border crossing was replaced by the border crossing at Wagah, a little further north. In 2005 there were proposals to reopen the border, but it remained closed.
Since 1970 there has been a Retreat Ceremony at the border crossing every day at 6 pm, similar to the Wagah border ceremony. Attendees are seated in close proximity here, as compared to Wagah where crowds are kept far apart. And unlike the jingoistic display at Wagah which draws nationalistic tourists from all over India and Pakistan, the Hussainiwala ceremony is a more intimate ceremony attended mostly by local Punjabis on either side of the border. As a result, the atmosphere is not as tense, and Indian and Pakistani attendees often wave to one another
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
At the outbreak of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the 2 MARATHA LI (Kali Panchwin) was based in Mathura when it was deployed to Hussainiwala in the Firozpur sector of Punjab. It defended the Hussainiwala headworks against an attack by a full infantry brigade supported by armoured columns of the Pakistan Army. The Marathas fought against a lot of odds. The tower on the other side of the river was captured and razed to ground. Lt KM. Palande, Lt. Feroz Doctor, Lt. S Deshpande showed great courage and ingenuity to thwart an enemy frontal attack. The enemy also used artillery fire and air support in this engagement. Two enemy tanks were destroyed and two captured, with several enemy killed. The commanding officer Col. Nolan was killed by an enemy artillery shelling the next morning while supervising operations. It was a major loss to the battalion. The unit ensured that the Samadhi of Bhagat Singh was not desecrated by the Pak Army. The battalion was visited by then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Defence Minister Kamraj, the Chief of Army Staff and other senior officers. Kali Panchwin was awarded the battle honour "Hussainiwala" for its role in the 1965 War. The citizens of Firozpur, in honour of the Battalion's contribution in defending the Bridge and Firozpur town, presented a silver replica of the Hussaniwala Bridge.
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
In the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 many memorials of Bhagat Singh and others were destroyed by Pakistani artillery. Two companies of the 15th Punjab (formerly First Patiala) were attacked by four brigades of the Pakistan Army on 3 December 1971 at 1835 hours. Nearly 4,000 Pakistani men attacked the Indian side with 15 tanks and heavy artillery support. The Indian commanders included Major Waraich, Major Singh's and Major Kanwaljit Sandhu, who was badly injured. Major SPS Waraich was reported captured, as were many JCOs and men as the squadrons were taken by surprise and had little time to get to their bunkers. A Pakistani radio news telecast reported (in Urdu) that Maj Waraich hamari hiraasat mein hain (Maj Waraich is in our custody). There was a subsequent report that Maj Waraich was in a North West Frontier jail. Their current status is unknown. They are listed as missing by the Indian Government along with 52 others including a Maj Ashok Suri who wrote a letter to his father in 1975 from Karachi stating that he was alive and well. Pakistan denies holding any men Missing in Action.
Peer Baba Hussainiwala ji
- http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20070923/spectrum/main2.htm Making of a memorial by K. S. Bains
- After Partition, the cremation spot went to Pakistan but on January 17, 1961
- Paul Mason (2006) Via Rishikesh: an account of hitchhiking to India in 1970
- Daily Times, 8 September 2005
- District Firozpur website: Retreat Ceremony at Husainiwala