The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) landed in a controversy Tuesday after it installed portraits of the four ‘martyrs’ at the Sikh Central Museum at Darbar Sahib in the premises of Golden Temple.
Ravinder Singh Litran, Charmal Singh, Harminder Singh and Baldhir Singh were killed in police firing at Nakodar of Jalandhar district on February 4, 1986, while they were protesting against desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
“It is duty of the SGPC to preserve the history of sacrifices made by Sikhs. Installation of pictures of these martyrs will be a source of inspiration for the coming generations of Sikhs,” said SGPC president Kirpal Singh Bhandungar.
The SGPC, however, remained silent when asked if similar treatment would be given to two Sikh youths killed in police firing while protesting against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in Behbal Kalan of Faridkot district on October 14, 2015.
Gurjit Singh (27) of Sarawan village and Kala Singh (54) of Niamiwala Khurd village in Faridkot were allegedly killed in police firing at Behbal Kalan village of Moga district during the rule of SAD, which which also rules SGPC. SGPC president Kirpal Singh said, “Nobody has approached us to install the pictures of youths killed in Behbal Kalan firing. Families of victims in Nakodar police firing had been demanding for a long time to install the pictures in Sikh museum. But no one from family of Behbal Kalan incident has approached us.”
Asked if installing pictures of Nakodar incident victims would also lead to a similar demand to install pictures of youths killed in 2015, he said, “I cannot take any decision on my own. It is SGPC executive committee that takes all the decisions. If any such demand comes up, I will raise it in the executive meeting and a decision will be taken accordingly.”
Recently, former SAD MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha, who lost his seat this time, had said the Behbal Kalan firing incident had badly hurt political prospects of SAD in 2017 Assembly elections in which party got only 15 seats.