A Madhya Pradesh-based NGO, Bharat Milan Niyas, has demanded that a memorial should be constructed to those brave army personnel who gave up their lives during Operation Bluestar while fighting armed terrorists in the Golden Temple in June 1984.
Members of the Shivpuri-based NGO, who paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here on Saturday, felt that the officers and soldiers who died during the operation had sacrificed their lives to uphold the unity and integrity of the country. The NGO termed them as "martyrs of the nation".
"This memorial should be constructed outside the premises of the Golden Temple. A holy shrine is not the apt place for construction of memorials of any kind," said Roop Kishore Vashist and Ghansham Pathak while speaking on behalf of the 50-odd members of the group, including women, who had come here.
The two criticised the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for going ahead with the construction of a memorial, that too inside the shrine complex, in the memory of those who were killed while resisting the security forces in June 1984.
The Sikh community in Madhya Pradesh is being asked a lot of questions about the legality of the SGPC memorial, said Vashist, an advocate by profession.
"Shrines like the Golden Temple are sacred to all communities. We should refrain from using such shrines for politicking," he said.
The NGO will visit the Jallianwala Bagh on October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti), where they will interact with visitors and seek their views on having a memorial for soldiers and officers who died during the 1984 operation. They will also be writing to SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar on this issue and ask him to halt the construction of the memorial.