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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Gurdwara refuses to hold prayers for Blue Star veteran

PTI  Chandigarh, January 21, 2013
First Published: 22:57 IST(21/1/2013) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(21/1/2013)

A gurdwara in Panchkula denied permission to the family of Lt Gen R S Dayal for holding a prayer meeting to mark the death anniversary of the decorated army officer, citing his participation in Operation Blue Star.

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The management of the Sikh shrine, located in Sector 7 in Panchkula in Haryana, refused to grant permission for holding a prayer meeting to mark the first death anniversary of Lt Gen Dayal on December 30, sources close to the family said.

The family was forced to hold the prayer meeting at their residence with the help of 'Granthis' from an Army gurdwara in Western Command Headquarters at Chandi Mandir near Panchkula, they said.

Gen Dayal was the Chief of Staff of the Western Command when Operation Blue Star was launched by the army in 1984 to flush out militants from the Golden Temple. Dayal, also the former Governor of Puduchery, had died at Panchkula on January 30 last year at the age of 83.

According to Sikh traditions, the first death anniversary is observed 11 months after the death of a person. The sources said the gurdwara management had refused to give permission on the plea that they had faced problems when a prayer meeting was organised at the shrine after Dayal's death in January last year.

Though no one from the shrine could be contacted, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar justified the decision saying there was nothing wrong in denying permission to Dayal's family considering his role in Operation Blue Star.

Asked if the family had approached the SGPC, a statutory body which manages affairs of all Sikh shrines, Makkar said there was no reason for the family to come to Golden Temple as the Army operation had hurt sentiments of the Sikh community across the world.

Radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh Bittu said they support the decision of the gurudwara management.

"The refusal is fully justified and reflects the collective will of the Sikh community," he said.

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