Op Bluestar Memorial gets SGPC nod
Fri May 04 2012: The work on erecting a memorial to Operation Bluestar would commence on May 20, a few days ahead of the 28th anniversary of what Sikhs call the “Genocide Day” on June 6 — the day that marks the Army operation at Golden Temple.
Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa, the chief of Damdami Taksal, has been assigned the task of carrying out the Kar Sewa (building) of the memorial to be erected in memory of those who were killed during the operation in 1984.
Talking to the Indian Express, Baba Harnam Singh said, “The executive committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) met at Anandpur Sahib on Thursday and cleared the the construction of memorial.”
“The entire Kar Sewa will be taken up by Damdami Taksal and the work on the building the memorial would start on May 20,” he added., while refusing to divulge any other details.
It may be noted that the SGPC executive committee had earlier twice passed a resolution to this effect — on February, 20, 2002, and on May 27, 2005. However, the issue was put on the back-burner under political considerations.
Irked over the delay, the Dal Khalsa in June 2010 organized a three-day hunger strike in front of SGPC headquarters to press the Sikh temporal seat to honour the commitment.
Succumbing under pressure from radical forces, the then SGPC president, Avtar Singh Makkar, on June 8 last year, constituted a five-member committee to draw up the draft proposal, which included deciding on the venue for erecting the memorial and its design. The committee was supposed to table the report in two months.
However, “suspecting the intentions” of the SAD (Badal), which virtually controls the SGPC, Sikh radical organizations, including Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), Khalsa Action Committee and Panthic Sewa Lehar constituted a shadow committee — Saka Darbar Sahib Memorial Committee — on July 8 to prepare its own report on the memorial.
Meanwhile, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh, who spearheaded the campaign for the memorial since 2003, said that the SGPC has finally heeded to the popular demand of the Sikhs.
He said the proposed memorial would be in consonance with Sikh principles and traditions and would reflect the valour and fighting spirit of those who sacrificed their lives during the Army operation.
About the location of the memorial, he reiterated that the panel formed by four Panthic organisations has suggested that Maharaja Sher Singh Deori is an ideal place for memorial as it still retains the bullets marks of the operation.
Operation Bluestar memorial will come up near Gurdwara Thara Sahib inside Darbar Sahib Complex
Global Sikh News
Amritsar, Punjab: Twenty-eight years after the Army stormed into the Harmandir Sahib complex and killed thousands of innocent Sikh pilgrims, the SGPC executive at a meeting in Anandpur Sahib today approved Operation Bluestar Memorial.
The memorial will come up near Gurdwara Thara Sahib in the Harmandir Sahib complex. The SGPC House had given the green signal to the memorial a decade back and the matter had been hanging fire since then. It was decided to hand over the ‘kar sewa’ of the memorial to Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh. Buildings which suffered damage and a ‘bir’ with a bullet mark will also be preserved to commemorate Operation Bluestar.
Jasbir Singh Rode said ‘kar sewa’ for the memorial would start on May 20. SGPC chief, had set the ball rolling on June 6 last by announcing a five member-committee to prepare a blueprint for the memorial. The panel, comprising Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh, SGPC senior vice-president Raghujit Singh Virk, Punjabi University VC Dr Jaspal Singh, SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta and former Pro VC of GNDU Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, submitted its report to the SGPC recently.
Sikh scholar Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian said the memorial should be built in front of Teja Singh Samundari Hall from where the Army had entered into the complex. Others suggested Maharaja Sher Singh Deori, which still bore bullet marks, the ideal place for the memorial.
The SGPC House had passed a resolution to raise the memorial at its meeting on February 20, 2002. A special executive meeting held at Anandpur Sahib on May 27, 2005, under the then SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, unanimously resolved to build the memorial. Interestingly, the proposal was virtually shelved in 2008.
Operation Bluestar was ordered by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 3-6, 1984, to attack the most holy place for Sikh and ending up killing thousands of innocent pilgrims including Sant Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhinderanwalay. The Central Sikh Museum has on display a list of 743 persons killed during Operation Bluestar which is dubious figure by many human right organizations.