Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 18. Reviewing the preparations for the foundation stone laying ceremony of Operation Bluestar Memorial scheduled for May 20, Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh today confirmed that the memorial will be in the form of a gurdwara near Miri Piri inside the Golden Temple Complex.
Talking to mediapersons after the beginning of an ‘Akhand Path’ to mark the occasion, Baba Harnam Singh revealed that some designs had also been prepared for the gurdwara, but it was yet to be finalised. On the issue of “gallery of martyrs”, he said they would work as per suggestions received from the SGPC.
On the demand of having the memorial that was “more than a gurdwara”, he said the memorial will be raised in view of the sentiments of the Sikh Sangat as well as the spiritual character of the Golden Temple Complex. He said the memorial would be built within a year. The Taksal chief said Maharaja Sher Singh Deodhi, which is opposite to the memorial site, will also be preserved, as it still bore the bullet marks dating back to Operation Bluestar in June 1984.
He said they would rope in experts to preserve this structure. He also took the opportunity to clarify that the memorial will not be that of only Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, but also of scores of innocent Sikh pilgrims who were killed in the Army operation. He dubbed the controversy regarding the blueprint of the memorial as baseless saying the memorial would be built in consonance with Sikh sentiments, traditions, ‘maryada’ and the holy shrine’s splendour.
He urged the outfits behind the controversy not to resort to such moves due to their mutual differences and political interests. “Such acts will only strengthen “anti-Panth” forces, which have been opposing the Operation Bluestar Memorial till now,” he said.
Regarding the foundation stone laying ceremony, Baba Harnam Singh said the five Sikh high priests would launch the “kar sewa” of the memorial in the presence of eminent Sikh personalities and members of Sant Samaj at 10 am on Sunday. He said all Panthic organisations, Taksals, sects and Akhand Kirtani jathas had been invited for the ceremony.
Meanwhile, the SGPC’s move to hand over the “kar sewa” of the memorial to Damdami Taksal doesn’t seem to have gone down well with some political and religious groups. SAD (Amritsar), SAD (1920) and the rival faction of the Taksal have resented the step. SAD (1920) leader Raghubir Singh Rajansansi today demanded that the blueprint of the memorial should be made public and the community’s views should be sought before finalising it.