Updated: April 11, 2014 5:58:14 pm
With Assembly elections in Delhi just months away,the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC),controlled by BJP ally SAD,on Wednesday announced that the foundation stone for a 1984 anti-Sikh riots memorial would be laid at Gurdwara Rakabganj on June 12.
Apart from the five Sikh high priests,the foundation stone ceremony will be attended by senior leaders of the BJP and SAD.
DSGMC president Manjit Singh said,BJP president Rajnath Singh,Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj,Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal,Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar are expected to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony.
The SAD wrested power from the Congress-backed Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) in elections to the DSGMC in January. It had even mentioned construction of the memorial in its election manifesto. The proposal gathered steam after Sikhs protested the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 riots case and Jagdish Tytler moved the High Court against a trial court order for reopening investigations against him in another riots case.
Best of Express Premium
According to Manjit Singh,the DSGMC had asked Delhi government for land to construct the memorial,but the request was turned down. This has been a long-standing demand,but the government refuses to agree. So we decided to build the memorial at Gurdwara Rakabganj,which incidentally was attacked in 1984 and two people were killed, Singh said.
He added that Congress governments had built memorials for its leaders,but never one for the victims of the 1984 riots. Now that Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler have been acquitted,we have no option but to build a memorial, Singh said.
DSGMC general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that the memorial would serve as a reminder to generations about the carnage that followed Indira Gandhis assassination. We want future generations to understand what happened to the community. Not just the killings but the fact that it was perpetrated by a political party and that what happened was not a riot but genocide, Sirsa said. He added that the DSGMC also aimed to specify that the 1984 riots were not between Hindus and Sikhs.
The DSGMC has called for designs from across the world for the memorial. It will not be a building,but rather a monument. We have called for designs and will be able to select the final design within 30 days, Sirsa said.
The memorial will also include a gallery,aimed at providing all information about the 1984 riots and will serve as a repository of documents,pictures and footage.
There will be a touch screen facility with the names and details of all the victims of the 1984 riots. Visitors will be able to read about each and every victim. We will also put on display all material gleaned from media and other sources, Sirsa said.
📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.