Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday inaugurated Jallianwala Bagh Centenary Memorial Park. It has been set up in the memory of all those who died in the massacre of April 13, 1919.
The CM dedicated the memorial to the people of Punjab, saying this second memorial at the site of the gory massacre is a tribute to all those unknown martyrs who laid down their lives during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
Nobody knows the exact number of lives lost, although the DC office has the names of only 488 who fell to the bullets of the British led by General Dyer, who fired on the orders of the then Governor of Punjab, Michael O' Dwyer, said the CM.
The CM said with 1,250 bullets fired on that day, the number would actually have run in thousands. The memorial has been built over 1.5 acres at a cost of Rs 3.5 crore at Amrit Anand Park, Ranjit Avenue.
Soil from villages around the state was brought to the site for the construction of the memorial to fill up the space below the sacred platform as a befitting tribute to them.
The CM said a special research team of historians and research scholars has been constituted by Guru Nanak Dev University to carry out research on martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh and freedom fighters who were imprisoned at Cellular Jail, Port Blair.
Once the research is complete, names of more martyrs may be discovered, he said, adding that sufficient space has been kept on the columns of the memorial to incorporate more names in the future.
Currently, names of the officially known 488 martyrs have been inscribed on the black and grey granite stone walls of the memorial. On the occasion, the CM paid floral tributes to the unsung heroes and honored 29 family members of the martyrs who died in the massacre.
The newly inaugurated memorial consists of five white stone pillars rising upwards. The pillars symbolize the spirit of the martyrs rising towards the sky. Different heights of the five pillars correspond to various age groups of martyrs, children, teenagers, youth, middle-aged and the elderly.
They also signify the five fingers of the hand and the cohesive power of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
The white color of the stone is a symbol of the purity of their sacrifice. The central black stone on a circular platform from where these pillars arise symbolizes the empty space and the void created by the sacrifice of these martyrs.