statesman news service
CHANDIGARH, 6 JUNE: Even as the 29th anniversary of ‘Operation Blue Star’ passed off peacefully at the ‘Akal Takht’ in the Golden Temple complex, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) silence over naming of a controversial memorial for the 1984 Army operation after militant Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale appears to have emboldened radical Sikh groups.
While such groups are resisting moves to erase the names of Bhindranwale and other Sikh militant leaders killed in the operation from the memorial, supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) raised pro-Khalistan slogans near the Akal Takht, Sikhism’s supreme temporal seat, at the Golden Temple.
While the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) head Mr Simranjit Singh Mann called upon Sikhs to continue with Mission Khalistan, some others exhorted the Sikh community to intensify the Khalistan movement in the presense of state police personnel.
Remembering those killed in the operation, the Jathedar of the Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh, said 6 June will continue to be remembered as “a day of sorrow and grief for Sikh panth”.
Supporters of another radical group, Dal Khalsa, had staged a march on the eve of the 29th anniversary of the Operation Blue Star.
The radical Sikh seminary, Damdami Taksal, is leading the campaign to retain Bhindranwale&’s name at the memorial even as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and ruling SAD are under pressure to find a solution to end the raging controversy.
“Everyone knows that the Sikhs had fought under the leadership of Bhindranwale. So what is wrong in inscribing his name on the memorial?” the Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa had said.