The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has again sought the return of rare manuscripts and historical documents that went missing from Sikh Reference Library of Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar that was launched in June 1984 to flush out armed militants from the shrine complex.
The SGPC believes that this rare literature was taken away by the army which had conducted the operation. SGPC chief secretary Harcharan Singh made a verbal demand on Sunday to chief of army staff General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who visited Golden Temple on Sunday.
The Sikh religious body has over the years written a number of letters to the Union government seeking the return of manuscripts and books, but to no avail.
The fate of several books and manuscripts seized from the Sikh Reference Library is still unknown. Initially, the SGPC had blamed the Intelligence Bureau (IB) of taking the possession of manuscripts. However, when the Union home ministry denied the charge, the SGPC turned to the defence ministry.
Former defence minister George Fernandes had once assure the SGPC of looking into the missing manuscripts after chief minister Parkash Singh Badal took up the matter with him. However, nothing has been done since then.
No religious literature with army: Suhag
However, Gen Suhag clarified that no such religious literature or manuscripts were in the possession of the army. “I have checked on this and found that no such religious literature is with the army. May be, some other agency took the literature with it,” he said. Gen Suhag said the Punjab government should forward a letter on the fate of missing manuscripts to the defence ministry. “I will help the SGPC on this,” he added.
Earlier, Gen Suhag and his wife Namita Suhag paid obeisance at Golden Temple. This was his first visit to the shrine after taking over the army chief. He was presented a model of Golden Temple, a “siropa” and a set of religious books.