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Punjab wants inscriptions on Bhindranwale to go

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The Punjab Government is keen to remove the inscription listing separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s name from the “Yadgar” memorial erected in memory of those killed during Operation Bluestar despite pressure from the Damdami Taksal that led a march to the Akal Takht today to thwart any such move.

Sources said the inscription at the entrance of the memorial and the plaques on either side of the stairs leading to it mentioned about separatist leaders. This was in direct contravention of the assurance made by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in the state Assembly that the memorial would be a simple gurdwara only.

Sources said while the developments embarrassed the Chief Minister, these had also made him lose face vis a vis his alliance partner-the BJP-which is extremely unhappy at the turn of recent events.

Observers feel the Chief Minister was essentially a moderate and hence could not allow Bhindranwale’s name to be projected in the manner done by the Damdami Taksal.

The SAD has reportedly taken up the issue with Damdami Taksal and members of the Sant Samaj spearheading the current campaign to ensure that the inscriptions are not removed.

As per the SAD stand, an understanding was arrived at with some radical elements to pave the way for the establishment of memorial. Despite it being a 20-year-old demand, memorial could not take shape as there was no unanimity on its shape.

A section of radical elements, including the Sant Samaj, approached both the CM and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal after coming to an “understanding” that all other parties were misleading the radical leaders and put their “trust” in the Badals on the issue.

This helped the SAD to get support of the Sant Samaj for the 2012 Assembly elections. The Sant Samaj also earned legitimacy by getting a long-pending demand “fulfilled”.

SAD sources claim it was decided that a memorial to all those who were martyred during Operation Bluestar should come up on the Darbar Sahib complex. This is disputed by the Damdami Taksal which claimed the purpose of the memorial all along had been to commemorate the “martyrs”, including Bhindranwale.

The SAD claims the Taksal has “deviated” from this understanding and that no personality-centric memorial should be allowed on the Darbar Sahib complex.

The SAD and the government is, however, wary of the Damdami Taksal because the latter is not willing to let go of the “success” achieved by it on the issue.

Sources said the Damdami Taksal and its head Harnam Singh Dhumma felt it had “achieved” something which no other radical leader had till now.

It is this which is coming in the way of an amicable “settlement” of the issue.

THE ROW

The inscription at the entrance of the Yadgar memorial and the plaques on either side of the stairs leading to it mention about separatist leaders

SAD sources say the understanding was to raise a memorial to all those martyred during Operation Bluestar in the form of a simple gurdwara

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The controversy over the Damdami Taksal’s move to dedicate Operation Bluestar Memorial to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and “other martyrs” further deepened today with the Sant Samaj submitting a memorandum to the Akal Takht chief, urging him not to remove plaques with Bhindranwale's name at the memorial.


Jathedar Gurbachan Singh has called a meeting of the Sikh clergy on May 15 to deliberate on the issue. Talking to mediapersons, Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa warned that they would not tolerate any “tampering with the boards/plaques carrying Bhindranwale’s name”.


He said any such attempt would be “tantamount to hurting the sentiments of the community, the consequences of which will be bad”. He demanded that the wall clock with Bhindranwale’s photo be re- installed at the memorial.


He claimed that the SGPC had already passed a resolution on putting up a board on Bluestar history outside the memorial.


A similar decision was reached by a sub-committee formed to construct the memorial, he claimed. He demanded that SGPC employees who had on the night of April 27 tried to remove the board mentioning the history of the Army operation should be taken to task. The Taksal chief said the Congress and the BJP were “unnecessarily interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs and should restrain themselves from doing so”.


Earlier, a delegation of at least 70 organisations led by the Taksal chief met the Takht Jathedar and handed over a memorandum to him.


Rising tensions


  • Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa says SAD, BJP should refrain from interfering in Sikhs’ religious affairs
  • Says won’t tolerate any ‘tampering’ with plaques
  • Akal Takht chief Jathedar Gurbachan Singh calls a meeting of Sikh clergy on May 15 to discuss the issue

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This shows why government's should not interfere in religious matters. Especially where multi multiculturalism is concerned.

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WHAT we can expect from jathedar Gurbhachan singh ........ jus c news after all years hardwork ( badal di chamcha giri )his son's wife got ticket to contest councillor election from SAD......

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The news papers are misleading. They write "Punjab wants" implying Sikhs too want removal of Sant Jee's name and info plaques. It is only Congress and BJP that want removal. Sikhs are all happy of Sant Jee's name on the memorial and info plaques. The only thing Sikhs want removed is the Dakhal by congress and BJP in internal Sikh matters. They need to mind their own business.

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hopefully this will kick off some fireworks and let the Sikhs of punjab get worked up enough to take direct action and kick the corrupt rats that are not working in the interests of the kaum.

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I think Badal party have never been to Sri Guru Singh Sabha Malton Gurudwara.. There's big gallery of Shaheeds of all times photos in langar hall.......and much more to see.....

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