The core committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday decided to demand an explanation from the Congress about the recent revelation that Britain's elite special air service (SAS) had reportedly advised former prime minister Indira Gandhi on flushing out Sikh extremists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar three months before Operation Bluestar was launched in June 1984.
The meeting presided over by SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and attended among others by chief minister and SAD patron-in-chief Parkash Singh Badal also decided that SAD-BJP legislators would hold a protest in front of the Punjab Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on January 24 between 11 am and 1 pm against the Centre's decision to extend industrial concessions to neighbouring hill states.
In a press statement, the SAD said party MPs would demand "explanation to the country" from the Congress-led UPA government as to why the then Congress government deemed it necessary to involve the perpetrators of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in carrying out the brutal army assault on the highest seat of religious authority of Sikhs.
"The party will demand full details on the nature, extent and kind of help sought and received," the SAD said in a press statement. "The party will also demand that the country be told why the government sought international support to persecute, kill and humiliate its own people."
In another significant decision, the core committee, in consultation with its ally, the BJP, decided to organise a protest dharna by the SAD-BJP legislators in front of the Punjab Raj Bhawan. The SAD-BJP MLAs will present a memorandum to governor Shivraj Patil, highlighting the Centre's "discriminatory and indifferent" treatment with Punjab.
"The people of Punjab have been subjected to a systematic discrimination on all fronts, especially religious and economic, by successive Congress governments at the Centre, with the active complicity of their state units," the SAD stated.