Dal Khalsa nails SGPC ‘lie’ on memorial

Blast from past Releases copy of SGPC’s May 2012 resolution dedicating structure to Bhindranwale.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Amritsar | Updated: April 15, 2014 5:43:10 pm

Blast from past Releases copy of SGPC’s May 2012 resolution dedicating structure to Bhindranwale.

Even as the SGPC tried to wash its hands of the controversy over dedicating the Operation Bluestar memorial at Golden Temple to militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale,the radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa Monday released a copy of the SGPC resolution,dated May 3,2012,directing the Damdami Taksal to construct the structure dedicated to the slain militant and other “martyrs” of the 1984 military operation.

This came even as the SGPC Monday formed a panel to probe “how and why the memorial was named after Bhindrawale”.

Adding yet another dimension to the row,Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh,who is also a part of the panel formed by the SGPC,talking to the The Indian Express,said: “I will shortly ask the SGPC,which controls the memorial,and Damdami Taksal,which was entrusted with the job to construct it,to clear their positions to sort out the issue.”

A row erupted on Saturday after the unveiling of an inscription in Punjabi on the memorial entrance that read: “Memorial in the memory of 14th head of Damdami Taksal martyr saint Giani Jarnail Singh ji Khalsa Bhindrawale and all martyrs of 1984”. This was reportedly unveiled after SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar,Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and other leaders had left the venue.

Notably,the SGPC,the ruling SAD in Punjab and the Akal Takht had categorically asserted in their respective press statements that the memorial,which has come up in the form of a gurdwara,would not have any names or pictures. However,the memorial unveiled on Saturday was dedicated to Bhindrawale by name at its entrance. Inside,a wall clock had a picture of Bhindrawale. A board placed adjacent to the stairs leading to memorial,dedicates the structure to Bhindrawale and few others by name,besides all who attained “martyrdom” in 1984 army operation.

Releasing a copy of the SGPC resolution,Dal Khalsa on Monday said that Damdami Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh was asked to raise the memorial near Akal Takht in the memory of Bhindrawale and other martyrs “who embraced martyrdom during army attack in 1984.”

Rubbishing the claims of SGPC president that they were kept in the dark,Dal Khalsa head H S Dhami wondered “as to why the SGPC and SAD leadership was raising hue and cry when the executive committee mentioned Bhindrawale in the resolution”.

It may be mentioned that it was Dal Khalsa that had raised the demand for the memorial in 2002 and the SGPC finally had given its go ahead for its construction in May last year.

Damdami Taksal head Harnam Singh was unavailable for comment.

Asked about the resolution,Makkar said,“Initially,the memorial was to be named after Bhindrawale and other martyrs of 1984. Later,it was decided not to have any names or photos. We made that clear in press statements. The inscription was covered with a white paint and after we left the paint was removed. How can the Damdami Taksal do this?”

Trying to wipe his hands of the issue,Makkar added that it was the SGPC that had directed the Taksal to execute the work “and hence it should have been done in the manner SGPC had issued directions.”

SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said the party has directed the SGPC to look into the matter.

The SGPC panel looking into the Bluestar memorial issue will comprise Akal Takht chief Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh,Darbar Sahib head granthi Mal Singh and SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta.

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