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LAHORE, Nov 16: The Lahore High Court on Friday restrained the City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) from issuing a notification about naming Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Chowk (Shadman Fawara Chowk) after Bhagat Singh.

Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh issued this interim stay order taking up a petition filed by a Tehrik-i-Hurmat-i-Rasool member, Zahid Butt. The petitioner is also president of the Shadman Traders’ Union.

Representing the petitioner, Advocate Aftab Bajwa argued that the name of Shadman Fawara Chowk was unanimously decided as Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Chowk who was the founder of the name of Pakistan.

The counsel said the Bhagat Singh Foundation had been established in the name of Bhagat Singh and the ‘so-called’ foundation in connivance with other ‘so-called’ human rights associations pressurised the CDGL to change the name of the chowk.

He further argued that the locals, including religious and political and traders, took up the matter with the government. The government ignored the reservations of the locals and formed a committee -- “Dilkash Lahore” -- to decide the name of the chowk.

The committee also decided to change the name of Chaudhry Rehmat Ali Chowk as Bhagat Singh Chowk and also published advertisements in newspapers.

Advocate Bajwa alleged a strong Indian lobby and India-sponsored human rights activists were behind the whole episode and forcing the government to change the name of the chowk.

He argued that being negation of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, the act of the respondents fell within the ambit of Section 6(C) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

He requested the court to stop the government from issuing a notification about changing the name of the chowk.

Justice Sheikh restrained the CDGL from issuing a notification and sought replies from the respondents by Nov 29.