Under fire from the opposition Congress for keeping mum over the London attack on Lt Gen Kuldip Singh Brar (retd), the BJP, a ruling coalition partner in Punjab, on Wednesday condemned the incident and also expressed its concern over the upcoming Operation Bluestar memorial in Harmandar Sahib.
In the same breath, saffron party leaders blamed the Centre for laxity in not coordinating with British security agencies for providing adequate protection to Lt Gen Brar during his London trip.
"I subscribe to Gen Brar's viewpoint that building a memorial in Darbar Sahib may open old wounds," said BJP spokesman and Jalandhar MLA Manoranjan Kalia, adding that he had earlier demanded in the Vidhan Sabha that a peace memorial be built for all those who had died fighting terrorism in Punjab during the 1980s and 1990s.
The real heroes, Kalia said, were Harchand Singh Longowal, Babu Hit Abhilashi, Lala Jagat Narain and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) workers who became martyrs and can't be forgotten at any cost.
Veteran BJP leader Balramji Dass Tondon termed the attack on Lt Gen Brar as "a serious reminder of terrorist days". "We can't shut our eyes regarding the revival of terrorism, or slow down our seriousness and alertness towards terrorist modules in Punjab," he added.
Recounting the colossal losses that Punjab had suffered due to terrorism, Tondon sounded a note of caution to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which had given the go-ahead to the Bluestar memorial.
"Under these circumstances, the SGPC should take all precautions in constructing the memorial at the most sacred place of Darbar Sahib, so that terrorist leaders, or the time of terrorism, are not at all glorified," he said.
Such memorials, Tondon said, should be dedicated to 30,000 terrorist victims, and also to such heroes who fought terrorism tooth and nail, even at the risk to their own lives.
Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma said the attack on Lt Gen Brar deserved an unequivocal condemnation.