The explosive issue of the standoff between the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Damdami Taksal over Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale's name inscribed at the entrance to the Operation Bluestar memorial in the Golden Temple complex was hotly debated in the core committee meeting of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Chandigarh on Monday evening.
The SAD core committee, comprising 18 top leaders, is the highest decision-making body of the party. It is learnt that the core committee asked SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar to resolve the issue amicably, as per the resolution passed by the SGPC.
However, the references made to Bhindranwale and his associates on the marble placed atop the entrance to the memorial are as per the May 3, 2012 resolution of the SGPC.
This resolution refers to the role of Bhindranwale and all other "martyrs" of Operation Bluestar. But Makkar had later given a verbal assurance that there would be no reference to any individual linked with the operation, including Bhindranwale.
The controversy was generated after Bhindranwale's name was inscribed by the Damdami Taksal at the entrance of the newly constructed memorial.
References made to Bhindranwale are contrary to the assurance chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has given time and again to the nation that there will be no reference to any individual on or near the memorial.
But the Damdami Taksal is in no mood to oblige the SGPC by removing references made to Bhindranwale, its former head, which gives details of the June 1984 operation in which Bhindranwale and his band of armed followers were killed.
As announced earlier, the SAD core committee formally decided that a high-level delegation of the SAD-BJP led by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal would meet President Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi on May 8 and submit a memorandum on the issue of "denial" of justice to the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The delegation will comprise MPs and MLAs from the state.
The Badals will also meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde separately.
SAD spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said the core committee discussed in detail the situation prevailing in Delhi and other parts of the country after the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar by a Delhi court in an anti-Sikh riots case.
The committee urged the Prime Minister to immediately intervene and ensure that the CBI files an appeal against the court order.
The party also discussed in detail the points to be included in the memorandum.
The core committee members expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of Nirprit Kaur, who had lost her father in the anti-Sikh riots and is on an indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to press for the formation of a special investigation team to look into the massacre of Sikhs in November 1984.
SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar were also present at the meeting.