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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Foundation stone of 1984 Sikh genocide memorial laid

Gurpreet Singh Nibber, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 12, 2013
First Published: 15:40 IST(12/6/2013) | Last Updated: 15:41 IST(12/6/2013)

The foundation stone of 1984 Sikh Genocide Memorial being built in Gurdwara Rakabanj Sahib Complex was unveiled on Wednesday.

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Hearing in a petition challenging construction of memorial in the Gurdwara premises was also listed for hearing in Delhi high court but the foundation stone was laid before the case came for hearing.

Before the foundation stone was to be laid, there was obvious tension at the site where foundation stone was to be laid. A large number of Sikhs carrying swords were guarding the site and movement of every person was closed watched.

It needs mention here that former president of DSGMC Paramjit Singh Sarna has moved Delhi high court against building of memorial in the Gurdwara premises.

Foundation stone was unveiled by head priests of Sikhs - Jathedar of Takht Shri Damdama Sahib Giani Balwant Singh Nandgarh, Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Gurbachan Singh and Jathedar of Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib Giani Tarlochan Singh.

Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal president and deputy chief minister Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal, his MP wife Harsimrat Kaur, DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK and Shiromani gurdwara parbandhak committee (SGPC) Avtar Singh Makkar were also present.

The foundation stone laying ceremony coincided with martyrdom day of fifth Guru Arjan Dev. A large number of Sikhs gathered at the site where foundation stone was laid.

Before the elections of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara management committee (DSGMC) in January earlier this year, building of a memorial to commemorate those Sikhs killed in 1984 riots, was part of election manifesto of Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal in the elections.

"We have fulfilled our promise," said Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal president Sukhbir Singh Badal after unveiling ceremony.

Later addressing the media-persons, Sukhbir Badal said that justice was denied to the families of innocent Sikhs killed in 1984 riots for past 29 years and now the congress party led government in Delhi was making attempts to stall construction of the memorial.

"Wasn't killing of innocent Sikhs illegal," he said on being asked by media that New Delhi municipal corporation (NDMC) has served notice to DSGMC, calling construction of the foundation stone for the memorial as illegal. NDMC served notice to NDMC last week.

BJP national president Rajnath Singh, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujaral, BJP's Delhi unit president Vijay Goyal, former chairman of minorities commission Tarlochan Singh, and DSGMC general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said that memorial would remind the generations about the unjustice done to the Sikh community.

Speaking about construction of the memorial, GK adds that no illegality was done and DSGMC would take all permissions from NDMC before starting construction of memorial.

Further according to him a number of designs of the memorial have been received and a final design would be finalised soon.


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