As the Delhi Sikh gurdwara management committee (DSGMC) was gearing up the June 12 ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the 1984 Sikh genocide memorial in the Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib complex, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) on Friday served a notice to the Gurdwara committee, asking not to carry out any illegal structure in the complex.
On Friday, the notice by NDMC was found pasted on the main gate of the gurdwara complex, which also houses the proposed site for the memorial. Pertinently, a brick platform of four feet height has already been constructed which would be unveiled as part of the foundation laying ceremony on June 12.
Five head priests of the Sikhs would lay the foundation stone. Top leaders of Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal including Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, president and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, BJP president Rajnath Singh, leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Brinda Karat were supposed to attend the ceremony.
"Construction of an illegal plarform, approximately 2 feet by 3 feet and 4 feet high in open the ground. You are hereby required to show cause within 2 days of the receipt of the notice as to why an order for stoppage of unauthorised constriction be not made," says the order.
The notice adds that in case the DSGMC fails to show cause within two days the order for stoppage of illegal construction shall be made.
Speaking to Hindustan Times over telephone, DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK said that nothing illegal was being done and the construction of the memorial would not stop. While NDMC director OP Mishra denied that any notice was sent to DSGMC.
It bears mention here that DSGMC office bearers have met the NDMC director over the issue.
"We have conveyed to the NDMC that we would demolish about 15,000 square feet of building and would construct building with 10,000 square feet covered area. When we built the sarai, the NDMC had raised no objection, and moreover we are not doing anything illegal," said DSGMC general secretary Manjinder Singh Sirsa, adding that any government agency should not get itself involve in Sikh issues.
"The perpetrators of genocide on Sikhs in 1984, including Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, were elevated to the posts of ministers, the government stalled justice for the victims of 1984 riots and now it is creating hurdles in the way of a peaceful attempt by the DSGMC to construct a memorial on land which belongs to the community," said GK who also met senior officials of Delhi police.
He added that the proposed memorial is not to hurt anyone instead it would symbol of peace, humanity and compassion.
In November last year, an attempt to commemorate a park in the Punjabi Bagh area to the victims of the 1984 riots was stalled by the Sheila Dixit led Congress government.