Queering the pitch for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Damdami Taksal on Sunday pointblank refused to oblige the former on the issue of mention of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's name on Operation Bluestar memorial or from a board installed in the 'parikrama' of the Golden Temple complex.
"We will go to the Akal Takht in a procession on Monday to present a memorandum to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh. We are firm on our stand that no board or marble slab bearing the name of Bhindranwale will be removed from the holy place. We have already indicated that we are ready to launch a struggle to preserve whatever we have done during the 'kar sewa' for construction of the memorial," Damdami Taksal head Harnam Singh Dhumma told Hindustan Times.
Dhumma is slated to lead the march of the Sant Samaj, a conglomeration of 8-9 religious organizations, from Taksal headquarters at Mehta Chowk, 45 km from Amritsar, to the Golden Temple complex.
Other important members of the Sant Samaj include religious preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal, who has significant clout in the Malwa belt, Sukhchain Singh, Charanjit Singh Jassowal, Gurpreet Singh Randhawa and a couple of others.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that SGPC and Akali leaders were trying to contact some Sant Samaj leaders on phone to persuade them not to join Dhumma's march on Monday. Sources said that the SGPC had got assurance from some leaders in this regard.
The SGPC is desperately trying to find a way out of the controversy generated after Bhindranwale's name was inscribed by the Taksal above the entrance to the memorial, apart from a board near the Akal Takht and on two small marble slabs close to the memorial-gurdwara.
The references to individuals violate a surety given by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and the SGPC to the nation that there would be no reference to any individual on or near the memorial.
The BJP, an alliance partner of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), has already demanded state intervention to remove all such references.
After SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar sought the assistance of the Akal Takht head Giani Gurbachan Singh and formed a panel headed by him and comprising Golden Temple head priest Giani Mal Singh and SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta on the issue, Dhumma outrightly refused to oblige them on removal of the name of former Damdami Taksal chief.
He instead expressed displeasure over the removal of a watch from a wall inside the memorial, with a picture of Bhindranwale. Thereafter, Makkar did not touch upon the issue.
SAD to watch Dhumma's march
The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of SAD would meet on Monday evening, and the party leadership would be closely watching the developments in the Golden Temple complex during the day. It would keep a tab on the amount of support the Taksal has in the Sant Samaj. If the march to the Akal Takht turns out to be an all-Taksal affair, the SAD will certainly ask Makkar to get all references to Bhindranwale removed.