SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal met Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday and submitted a series of demands related to Operation Bluestar. These include return of antiques, artefacts and books allegedly taken away by the Army during the operation, pension to those from the Sikh community who quit the Army in protest, and permission for a religious procession to Pakistan on the occasion of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
After the meeting, Sukhbir said, “Today is June 6, and it reminds us of the sins committed by Indira Gandhi’s Congress in 1984 when the Sikh community’s holiest shrines were attacked with tanks and hundreds of innocent devotees were killed. It’s been 35 years and yet justice has not been done. With the NDA government in power, we are hopeful that some of the issues concerning this tragic incident would be resolved.”
Sukhbir said he placed three specific demands with the home minister, who reportedly said he would look into them.
A written submission to Shah by Sukhbir said, “Sikh community is eagerly waiting for the precious treasure which the attacking Army seized and took away during the attack. It includes important holy scriptures, artefacts, thousands of historical books and collection part of the Sikh Reference Library and relics belonging to Sri Guru Sahib and other Sikh personalities should be located and returned to the community with due honour.”
The SAD leader said that as many as 309 Army personnel from the community had quit the service in protest against the operation, which took place in the first week of June of 1984. “It was an emotional decision by these people. Now there are just 100 such people surviving. We have requested the government to give them pension at least,” Sukhbir said.
He said he had also requested Shah that the government should talk to Pakistan to allow a delegation of SGPC and DSGMC to carry a “Nagar Kirtan” from India to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis also met Shah and discussed the security situation in Naxal-affected districts in the state, sources said.