Amid opposition to the proposed Bluestar Operation Memorial by the ruling alliance partner BJP and the opposition party Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday justified the proposal by terming the monument as a healing touch to the kin of those who were killed during the decade-long militancy.
"Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has already clarified in the assembly that it will not be a memorial. Rather, a small gurdwara would come up in the Golden Temple complex. The gurdwara, bereft of any photographs, will be a symbol of peace and universal brotherhood," SAD secretary Daljit Singh Cheema told the Hindustan Times.
"Moreover, no party supported Operation Bluestar, which is termed as wrong by every right-minded person," Cheema added.
On being pointed out that former deputy prime minister LK Advani in his book titled "My Country My Life" categorically supported Operation BlueStar and rather claimed to take credit of it by stating that it was the BJP, which forced the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, to free Golden Temple from the clutches of ultras, Cheema evaded a direct reply.
"I have not read Advani's book and moreover, I cannot reply to any individual's view," he hastened to add.
As far as criticism by the Congress is concerned, it is an attempt to create hype on revival of terrorism in the state, which is being effectively tackled by the state government, he added.
Recently, senior BJP leader and former minister Balramji Das Tandon openly criticised SAD on the issue of setting up the Operation Bluestar Memorial, saying that it would not serve any purpose except creating fear psychosis among the minorities.
Asked about the Congress criticism on declaring Balwant Singh Rajoana as "living martyr", Cheema clarified that it was not SAD, but the supreme religious body of Sikhs - the Akal Takht - gave such a status to Rajoana.
"The Congress has no right to say anything on such issue, as its anti-Sikh face has already been exposed. The Congress-led Delhi government has advocated the release of Kishori Lal, a key accused in 1984 riots," Cheema added.
"We are going to fight tooth and nail to ensure capital punishment to Kishori Lal and other accused of 1984 riots," he added.
"As far revival of terrorism is concerned, the state government is determined to curb any attempt of that for which security forces have been instructed to keep strict vigil on such elements," Cheema said.