The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on Thursday gave a go ahead for setting up a photo gallery of Sikh “martyrs” killed during Operation Bluestar, the 1984 Army operation to flush out militants from the Golden Temple. The decision was taken at a meeting of the SGPC’s executive committee here.
The photo gallery will be set up at the basement of the Bluestar Memorial inside the Golden Temple complex. The memorial, which was thrown open in April 2013, was named as Gurdwara Yaadgar Shaheedan (Martyrs Memorial Gurdwara).
“SGPC executive committee gave a go ahead for the gallery in the meeting today. Damdami Taksal had approached SGPC requesting for the gallery,” SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar said. Dal Khalsa had also demanded the gallery.
“A provision for the gallery was made during the construction of the memorial itself. As memorial issue snowballed into a controversy when memorial was inaugurated, it was decided to raise the demand for gallery at a subsequent stage,” said Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh.
“Dal Khalsa has handed over a directory containing photos and details of over 200 Sikhs who were martyred in Operation Bluestar. SGPC is receptive to add more photos in the gallery if someone provides additional information subject to corroboration,” said Kanwarpal, adding that Bhindranwale’s photo would be “first to be put up in the gallery”. “This photo gallery would be in the basement,” he added.
Badungar said it was for Damdami Taksal, which had approached SGPC with the proposal, to decide on the photos to be displayed in the gallery.
SGPC executive committee also seconded the decision of SAD in Punjab Vidhan Sabha to oppose obituary reference to former Punjab DGP KPS Gill.
In another resolution, the executive committee defended SGPC’s decision to join SAD in protests against Congress government in Punjab.
“Former SGPC president (late) Gurcharan Singh Tohra participated in many such agitations. It is the SGPC history. I will explain this to Akal Takht jathedar,” said Badungar. Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh, when contacted, refused to comment on SGPC resolution on the issue.