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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

No headway to resolve Op Bluestar memorial issue

HT Correspondent  Amritsar, April 30, 2013
First Published: 23:35 IST(30/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:37 IST(30/4/2013)

No headway was made on Tuesday in the efforts to resolve the dispute between various 'panthic' groups over the naming of former Damdami Taksal head Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale above the entrance to the 'Operation Bluestar' memorial in the Golden Temple complex, mainly due to the absence of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh from the holy city.

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The Jathedar is away to Delhi and is expected back late in the night. Besides the Jathedar, the other panel members formed to redress the issue are Harmandar Sahib head granthi Giani Mal Singh and SGPC executive committee member Rajinder Singh Mehta.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had sought the help of the Jathedar on Monday to find a solution to the controversy that arose following the dedication of the memorial to Bhindranwale and other 'martyrs' of the June 1984 army operation in Darbar Sahib.

The memorial was dedicated to the Sikh community on Saturday and mentions Bhindranwale's name, which had led to a controversy since the SGPC while handing over the 'kar sewa' to the Damdami Taksal had asserted that references to any particular individual would be avoided at the memorial.

The SGPC is keen to resolve the issue amicably and through talks with the Taksal but so far, there has been no communication between the panel members and Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh Dhuma, who is stationed at Mehta Chowk, 45 km from here, where the headquarters of the Sikh seminary is located.

Though Taksal sources denied any communication with their head, SGPC sources claimed that Giani Mal Singh had spoken to Dhuma on telephone and had 'opened a channel of communication.'

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, who is here since Monday, is also keen to resolve the issue amicably. He held a meeting with Giani Mal Singh but did not disclose the details to the media.

"I have said that we will resolve the issue and will talk to the parties concerned," he said in reply to questions from reporters.
Meanwhile, the SGPC has for the time being decided not to book the memorial building for private or family 'akhand paths'.

After the inauguration, Makkar had indicated that like many other holy places and rooms in the Golden Temple complex, the memorial too would be used for holding uninterrupted readings of scriptures (akhand paths).

The SGPC has cancelled the private 'akhand paths' booked by the Taksal during the construction of the memorial. The SGPC took over the memorial soon after its inauguration. Guru Granth Sahib has been placed inside the memorial and as per the rituals a 'granthi' recites 'gurbani' regularly.

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