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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Dhumma sticks to stand on Bluestar memorial issue

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Amritsar Amritsar, May 06, 2013
First Published: 13:29 IST(6/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:29 IST(7/5/2013)

The Damdami Taksal on Monday stuck to its stand that it had done nothing wrong in mentioning its former head Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's name above the entrance to the 'Operation Bluestar' memorial as well on a board in the 'parikrama' near the Akal Takht in the Golden Temple complex.


"We are not for any confrontation with anyone and favour a peaceful solution to the issue. We have not committed any wrong and have constructed the memorial in accordance with the resolution of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in May last year," Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma said while addressing the media after handing over a memorandum on the issue to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh in Harmandar Sahib.

"If the SGPC does not recognise Bhindranwale as 'shaheed', then who is a martyr?" he asked while expressing the hope that the Akal Takht would adjudicate on the matter after taking into consideration the 'bare facts' highlighted in the memorandum.

Dhumma sought to know from the SGPC the definition of a 'shaheed'. Interestingly, the memorandum was signed only by Dhumma was on the letter head of the 'Sant Samaj', a conglomerate of various religious organisations.

Dhumma asserted that they would wait for the Akal Takht decision on the issue and thereafter hold a meeting of the Sant Samaj to draw the future course of action.
 
Clergy meeting very soon: Akal Takht Jathedar
The Akal Takht Jathedar did not interact with Dhumma, after the latter presented hiim the memorandum. Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh refused to comment on its contents before the media. "We will discuss its contents in a meeting of the five Singh Sahibs (heads or representatives of the five Sikh Takhts) and take a decision," he said, indicating it would be held "very soon".
 
Sant Samaj leaders join march
Earlier, Dhumma led the heads of a number of Sikh religious organisations and groups to the Golden Temple complex to present a two-page memorandum in Punjabi to Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh at his office.

Earlier, Barring the heads of 3-4 organisations of the Sant Samaj, others joined the march of led by Dhumma from the Damdami Taksal headquarters at Mehta Chowk, 45 km from Amritsar, to the Golden Temple. The convoy consisted of around 55 cars/jeeps/SUVs and five minibuses. There were apprehension that a number of Sant Samaj leaders might back out of the march, but this did not happen. The SGPC had contacted many of them and tried to persuade them to keep away from Mehta Chowk.
 
What the memorandum says?
While quoting the SGPC resolution of May last year, the memorandum stated that the Taksal had not committed any breach of trust. The resolution specified that a memorial would be erected to commomorate 'Bhindranwale and all martyrs of Operation Bluestar', the memorandum pointed out.

On the presence of the names of Bhindranwale, the then All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) president Amrik Singh, Shahbeg Singh and Baba Thara Singh on the board in the 'parikrama' , the memorandum again emphasised that this was also in accordance with a decision taken by the five-member sub-committee formed by the SGPC for deciding on the spot for the memorial.

The memorandum expressed displeasure on the manner in which a clock with a photograph of Bhindranwale was removed from the inside wall in the memorial a day after its inauguration on April 27.

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