The Delhi BJP on Thursday asked the Kejriwal government to rename 40 villages with "Mughal era names" after freedom fighters, artistes, and "martyrs" including Ankit Sharma and Ratan Lal who were killed in communal riots in the city in February 2020. Delhi Police officer Mohan Chandra Sharma, who was killed in Batla House encounter, and Kargil War hero Captain Vikram Batra, were also suggested in the list of names proposed by it.
Ankit Sharma, an IB staffer, and Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal were killed during riots in North East Delhi in 2020. Names of Maharshi Valmiki, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, cricketer Yashpal Sharma, and Milkha Singh were also proposed to rechristen these villages.
"People want to know about such personalities. We are sending a proposal to name the villages after them. People want the Mughal era names to be changed," Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta told reporters here. There are 40 villages that have names "associated with the Mughals" and "symbolise the slave mentality", he said.
"The 40 villages have names like Jia Sarai, Zamroodpur, Masoodpur, Jafarpur Kalan, Tajpur, Najafgarh, Neb Sarai. Delhi is no longer a Sarai (inn). It is the national capital of the country. "The villagers, including youths, do not want their villages to be identified with any symbol of slavery. They want to know who was Captain Vikram Batra, Bismillah Khan, Ashfaqullah, and Mohan Chandra Sharma who was martyred in Batla House encounter," Gupta said.
At a time when the whole country is celebrating the 75th anniversary of independence, the villagers do not want to be associated with such names and they have approached us, he claimed. "We demand Kejriwal that the names of these 40 villages be changed after the names of freedom fighters, brave hearts of armed forces who laid down their lives to safeguard the borders of the country, those who won laurels for the country in the fields of sports, art, music, and culture," said the Delhi BJP president.
Gupta on Wednesday had visited Muhammadpur in South Delhi where the BJP with the local villagers changed the name of the village to Madhavpuram - even though neither has the authority to effect such changes. The ruling Aam Aadmi Party had earlier said that Delhi government's 'State Naming Authority' appropriately reviews name change proposals it receives and acts following the due procedure.
"The villagers had decided to rename Muhammadpur which is a Mughal era name to Madhavpuram. A proposal to this effect was passed in South MCD. It was sent to the Delhi government for approval but nothing happened in last six months. So, the BJP decided to rename Muhammadpur as Madhavpuram with the consent of the local villagers who did not want to be associated with a symbol of slavery," Gupta had earlier said. The Aam Aadmi Party, which governs the city, has charged that the BJP does not want the government to function as per the due process and was looking for opportunities to start hooliganism.
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