Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Wednesday that the state government would soon impress upon the Centre to return the books, rare manuscripts and other artefacts taken away by the army from the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, during Operation Bluestar in 1984.
“These rare artefacts are of immense historical and religious significance for every Sikh. We would intensify our efforts to bring these valuable articles, snatched away from us during Operation Bluestar, back to the state,” the CM added. The state government and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee have been taking up the matter with successive central governments.
In 2004, then NDA government had ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to initiate a probe into the missing artefacts, but to no avail.
The library, which came into existence in 1946, had a collection of more than 20,000 books and rare manuscripts, including copies of handwritten ‘birs’ and ‘janam sakhis’ by Sikh gurus. It was badly damaged during Operation Bluestar.