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HindustanTimes Sun,24 Aug 2014

Punjab CM, son trash charges of appeasing sikh radicals

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar/Amritsar, October 11, 2012
First Published: 23:44 IST(11/10/2012) | Last Updated: 23:46 IST(11/10/2012)

Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday hit out at controversy surrounding the upcoming Operation Bluestar memorial inside the Golden Temple.

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Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal trashed allegations of appeasing Sikh radicals for political gains with the memorial.

His son and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal justified the memorial, saying, “The yadgaar (memorial) is a gurdwara and not a monument dedicated to any individual or individuals.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar in Jalandhar, the CM said Lt Gen KS Brar (retd) — the lone surviving frontline commander of Operation Bluestar — was “commenting” on the memorial without knowledge of the ground realities in Punjab.

Lt Gen Brar, who escaped an assassination bid in London by knife-wielding Sikh radicals on September 30, has opposed the memorial and called for healing the wounds of the past.

“Brar has not visited Punjab in several years. He lives in a fortress in Mumbai and is unaware of the ground realities. He should first visit the state,” the CM said.

On the SAD-controlled SGPC honouring assassins of General AS Vaidya, in-charge of the 1984 Operation Bluestar, the CM said, “Please don’t raise issues which can vitiate the state’s atmosphere.”In Amritsar, the deputy CM said, “It will be a gurdwara. No list of names or photographs of individuals will be placed in this shrine.”

Security cover for Op Bluestar officer
The home ministry on Thursday decided to restore security of Brig (retd) Israr Rahim Khan. His security cover was unceremoniously withdrawn a decade ago. The Uttar Pradesh Police would be asked to take charge of the officer's security since he lives in Noida.


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