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Bhagat Singh's pistol put up on display at BSF Museum in Hussainiwala
The avenging pistol – epic .32 mm bore Colt automatic pistol of Bhagat Singh – which he had used for killing British officer John Saunders on December 17, 1928 – was put up on display in a special glass showcase on a stand made of steel with photograph of Bhagat Singh, at Border Security Force Museum in Hussainiwala on Indo-Pak border near Ferozepur, on Sunday.

The Colt .32 bore automatic pistol with registration no.168896, patented April 20,1897 and manufactured on December 22, 1903 by Colt's PT FA Mfg Co, Hartford CT, USA was the one which was used by Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh to shoot John Saunders, the Assistant Police Superintendent, outside the Punjab Civil Secretariat in Lahore on December 17, 1928. Saunder's assassination was carried out to avenge the death of eminent freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, who had succumbed to injuries received in lathi charge during the Simon agitation.

The pistol had remained in possession of Punjab Police Academy (Phillaur) till October 1969, after which it had been issued to Central School of Weapons and Tactics (CSWT) Indore, where it was kept until recently, and transferred in April 2017 to be displayed at the Hussainiwala BSF Museum.

After almost after 90 years of being forgotten in a storeroom, Bhagat Singh's pistol was discovered, which took a long journey, travelling first from Lahore to Phillaur, then to Indore, from Indore to Jalandhar, and on Sunday, finally reaching Hussainiwala for display at the BSF Museum – where already a number of rare weapons are on public display.

Custodian of the CSWT Museum, Asstt Commandant Vijendra Singh was surprised when the black paint on the pistol was removed, revealing the serial number of the pistol. When matched with the records, the serial no. 168896, was found to be of Bhagat Singh's pistol.

Speaking to media persons, BS Rajpurohit, DIG, BSF, Ferozepur Sector said, "With the display of historical pistol of Bhagat Singh at the museum, thousands of people who visit Hussainiwala for witnessing retreat ceremony, will get to see this weapon now."

In reply to a question, he said, the youth who are the future of our country will feel motivated about the sacrifices of revolutionaries who gave up their lives for the freedom of India.

It is added here that the pistol was requisitioned by the BSF and was brought to the Central School of Weapons & Tactics, Indore, on October 7, 1969, along with seven other firearms from the Punjab Police Academy in Phillaur, where it had been since 1944, three years before Partition, after being received from the officials in Lahore.

Few days back, Punjab Students Union and certain NGOs had also demanded that the historical pistol be put up on display at the Ferozepur hideout of Bhagat Singh and his associates in the Toori Bazar locality of Ferozepur town, which is yet to be developed as a heritage site and converted into a museum and library.

However, BSF museum seemedlike the only ideal place where the pistol could bedisplayedfor the public which visits the quiet border townto witness the thrilling retreat ceremony – lowering of flags of India and Pakistan – by the BSF jawans and Pakistani Rangers, with typical body gestures to relegate each other.

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