The SGPC and Sikh seminaries Damdami Taksal, Dal Khalsa on Thursday put up a united front as construction work formally started for a gallery inside the Golden Temple dedicated to those killed during Operation Bluestar. The work, however, started with none of these Sikh bodies having exact data of those killed during the operation. The construction work was jointly started by the Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, and SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar. The event was attended by many other heads of Sikh shrines.
As per the plan, the multimedia gallery will display pictures of those who died during the Operation. SGPC has given the responsibility of constructing the gallery to Damdami Taksal, which is further depending upon the Dal Khalsa for the information about the names of militants and devotees killed.
Despite the long history of politics over this emotive issue, the compilation of exact information about those to whom this gallery will be dedicated is still a work in progress.
Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said, “We had prepared a directory of 220 Sikh militants who were killed during operation. Damdami Taksal will use this directory for gallery. But recently three more families have approached us claiming that their sons were also killed in same operation and we have included these names in our directory. These three families approached us after hearing about this gallery. As word spreads, more names can be added to this dictionary.”
SGPC had given compensation to around 600 people who were killed, injured or jailed during Operation Bluestar. While it made no effort to maintain the data or segregate it to pinpoint those killed inside the premises, the Dal Khalsa directory is primarily about the militants who were killed.
Damdami Taksal spokesman Sarchand Singh said, “We will try to include all the names. We will be open to consider any claim about casualties during operation inside the premises. So it should not be any problem. We will arrange all the data before construction of gallery is completed.”
Reacting to remarks by CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Badungar said, “This gallery is not a threat to peace and harmony of the state. Instead of making unwanted statements concerning to security of state, Captain Amrinder Singh should first do something to provide justice for those Sikhs who were killed during 1984.”