The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday removed a wall clock with militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's picture inside the newly-constructed Operation Bluestar memorial in the Golden Temple complex.
However, Damdami Taksal made no move to remove the name of Bhindranwale, its former head, from an inscription atop the memorial's entrance.
Taksal members present in the complex were not taken into confidence before removing the wall clock and replacing it with another. Efforts to contact Taksal head Harnam Singh Dhumma proved futile, even as SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar reiterated that an amicable solution would be found to the controversy over Bhindranwale's name in the inscription.
The clock with Bhindranwale's photo was put on a wall inside the memorial what was dedicated to the Sikh community on Saturday last. Though the photo was small in size, it was still seen as a violation of SGPC commitment to the nation that the gurdwara would not have anyone's photograph or portrait.
Taksal also got engraved the name of Bhindranwale just above the entrance to the memorial, despite the fact that the SGPC had verbally stated while handing over the 'kar sewa' of the memorial to Mehta Chowk-based seminary that the gurdwara would have no reference to anyone and would be dedicated to all those who died in the June 1984 army operation.
The SGPC had formed a three-member panel on Monday, led by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and including Harmandar Sahib head granthi Giani Mal Singh and SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta as members, to resolve the controversy over Bhindranwale's name and photo appearing at the memorial
The Akal Takht Jathedar is away to Delhi for the last two days and is yet to reach Amritsar. Makkar held a number of meetings during the day, though SGPC officials asserted that these were 'routine meetings' of the Dharam Prachar Committee and other panels of the Sikh body.
Concrete steps to resolve the issue were expected only after the return of Giani Gurbachan Singh. Dhuma too has indicated to some of his close associates that he would visit Amritsar once the Akal Takht Jathedar returns.
Meanwhile, Makkar is said to be keeping a close tab on the developments and has held consultations with Mehta, who remained present by his side all through the day. The SGPC chief is keen to wriggle out of the situation by finding a solution since he is aware that the entire issue has caused a lot of embarrassment to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the state government. SAD alliance partner BJP has gone to the extent of demanding Badal government's intervention to remove Bhindranwale's name from the memorial.