Sikh radicals reject PM’s plea to forget 1984

May 24th, 2009 - 8:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Amritsar, May 24 (IANS) Rejecting the advice from the country’s first Sikh prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to forget the events of 1984, radical Sikh leaders Sunday gave a call for a “genocide remembrance march” next month.
The radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa Sunday announced that its activists would undertake a “genocide remembrance march” through Amritsar June 3 - the day that the Indian Army started its “Operation Bluestar” against heavily armed Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple.

“Much water has flown down the rivers of Punjab since 1984. There was a change in political leadership with some Sikhs at the helm of affairs both at centre and the state. This has not healed our wounds of June 1984,” Dal Khalsa president Harcharanjit Singh Dhami told mediapersons here.

Manmohan Singh, during an election trip to Sikh-dominated Punjab earlier May, stated in Ludhiana that Sikhs could not keep the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue alive for ever.

The prime minister charged that some people want to keep the issue alive “apne dukaan chamkane ke liye (for their selfish interests)”. He held that this was of “no profit to either the country or the Sikh community”.

The march, starting from the Dal Khalsa office here, would culminate at Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of the Sikh religion.

Dhami said prayers would be held in memory of those who “sacrificed their lives for the Sikh cause”.

Criticising the prime minister’s statement, he said: “Wounds are still simmering, even after 25 years. Especially the wounds, which have been left to neglect. Sikhs will never forget the brutality of the state nor the supreme sacrifices made by around 300 fearless Sikhs who fought till their last breath to defend the sanctity of the holiest shrine.”

He ridiculed those Sikh leaders were attempting to erase this period from the public memory.

Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh said “the sacrifice of the June 1984 martyrs” would never be allowed to go in vain. He asked the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) to implement its promise of building a memorial for those who were killed inside the Golden Temple complex in June 1984.

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