Tuesday, Sep 16, 2014

Opposed for years, riots memorial may get go-ahead

Rajnath Singh along with Sukhbir Singh Badal at the memorial’s foundation stone-laying ceremony. Rajnath Singh along with Sukhbir Singh Badal at the memorial’s foundation stone-laying ceremony.
Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | New Delhi | Posted: September 3, 2014 3:32 am

A memorial for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the proposal for which has so far been rejected by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), may soon see the light of the day, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) said.

Despite NDMC’s opposition to build a memorial within the premises of Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib, DSGMC had inaugurated the project in June 2013, with BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj attending the foundation-stone laying ceremony.

A month ago, DSGMC had approached Singh, now the Union Home Minister, with regard to the memorial. Singh, in turn, facilitated a meeting between NDMC chairperson Jalaj Srivastava and Manjinder Singh Sirsa, general secretary of DSGMC, said.

“After laying the foundation stone, neither Rajnath Singh nor Sushma Swaraj were opposed to the memorial. Now that Sheila Dikshit’s Congress government is no longer in power, there is no reason the project won’t come up,” Sirsa said.

According to government sources, NDMC wrote to the Delhi government on August 26 regarding the construction of the memorial and seeking its advice in the matter. The Delhi government, which still has Lieutenant-Governor General Najeeb Jung at its helm, has asked the Delhi Police to send a report that covers “all aspects” on the matter.

“Dikshit, an NDMC member then, didn’t allow construction of the memorial. Now, with the BJP in power at the Centre and Delhi being without an elected government, the memorial is bound to come up,” Sirsa, the Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Rajouri Garden, said.

The DSGMC said security of memorial would not be a problem. “The gurdwara has its own security and all steps will be taken to ensure that neither visitors not residents of the area face problems,” Sirsa said.

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