'Akhand Paath' commences at Akal Takht

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2014 23:57 IST

An 'Akhand Paath' (recitation of gurbani) in memory of those who died fighting against the security forces during Operation Bluestar inside the Golden Temple complex, commenced at the Akal Takht, here on Wednesday.

This event is organised every year by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) since
the army operation of June 1984.

The 'Bhog' (conclusion) of the 'Akhand Paath', as per Sikh rituals, will take place at the Akal Takht on Friday, June 6, the day on which the army operation had ended in1984. Thereafter, Akal Takht jathedar, Giani Gurbachan Singh, will address the Sikh community and also present 'siropas' to the relatives of some of the "prominent persons" who were killed during the army action.

The jathedar has already issued an appeal to the Sikh community to observe the Operation Bluestar anniversary in a peaceful manner and by reciting prayers. He has strictly banned 'political mud-slinging' on the day of the 'Bhog' at the Akal Takht.

The Dal Khalsa, a radical Sikh group, has given a call for an Amritsar bandh on June 6 to protest against the killing of "innocent" persons during the operation and also to "relive the pain and agony of the time". However rail and road traffic has been exempted from the bandh.

The Operation Bluestar was launched to flush out armed militants acting under the command of then Damdami Taksal chief Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from inside the shrine. Bhindranwale, along with some of his close associates, was killed during the operation.

A memorial dedicated to Bhindranwale and all others who were killed along with him, stands inside the shrine. This memorial was inaugurated in April last year and it was built by the Damdami Taksal while violating the directions of the SGPC by inscribing the name of Bhindranwale at its entrance.

Apart from the SGPC, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had given an assurance in the state assembly that the memorial would not be dedicated to any particular individual but to all those who perished during the operation. All these years, the SGPC had resisted the demands of radicals to have a memorial, but finally gave in when the radicals threatened to get a memorial built on their own.

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