Remembering Operation Bluestar, Sikh radicals march in Amritsar (With Images)

June 3rd, 2009 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Amritsar, June 3 (IANS) Sikh radical leaders and their supporters Wednesday took out a procession through this city to mark 25 years of the start of the Indian Army’s Operation Bluestar on the Golden Temple complex here.
Scores of activists of radical Sikh organisation, Dal Khalsa, carried out the protest march, called the ‘Genocide Remembrance March’ through city streets till the complex of the holiest Sikh shrine, Harmandar Sahib, popularly called Golden Temple or Darbar Sahib.

Upset with the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) for not doing much to set up a memorial for those who lost their lives inside the shrine complex during the army attack in June 1984, the Dal Khalsa said the memorial was needed for the community to know about the sacrifices of people.

Going beyond commemorating the memory of the martyrs of the army attack on Darbar Sahib in June 1984, the Dal Khalsa demanded a special law to prevent recurrence of violations of religious sanctity.

“It is important to enact a law to prevent such events from recurring. Stray apologies by the prime minister (Manmohan Singh) or Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) mean nothing,” Dal Khalsa president H.S. Dhami told reporters.

He said the Congress’ playing the “Sikh card” with Manmohan Singh as the prime minister would not heal the wounds of the Sikh community either.

“Sikhs supported Manmohan Singh out of emotions and because of their dislike for the BJP in general and L.K. Advani in particular,” Dhami added.

Representatives of Panthic (religious) bodies led by Dal Khalsa and Damdami Taksal leadership submitted a memorandum to SGPC officials criticising it for failing to build a memorial.

Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwar Pal Singh said the 1984 army attack on the holy shrine had “ruined our pride and honour, killing and incarcerating thousands”.

He added it was ironical that despite India being a secular nation, “Sikhs are being portrayed as terrorists”.

Condemning the 1984 events, Damdami Taksal head Harnam Singh and Khalsa Action Committee (KAC) convenor Mohkam Singh said the future of minorities in the country was at stake as the state machinery continued the practice of favouring the majority community.

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