Damdami Taksal against out-of-court settlement of Op Bluestar damages suit
Taking exception to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC)’s plan of initiating talks with the Centre for out-of-court settlement of ₹1,000-crore damages suit related to the Operation Bluestar, Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal on Wednesday “warned” the apex gurdwara body against taking any such “risk”.
In a statement, Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa said: “Taksal is the main organisation that fought the Indian army during military action on Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in June 1984. No settlement can be achieved without the consent of Sikh Sangat (community) and Taksal.”
The army had carried out the operation to flush out militants, led by the then Taksal head Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, out of the Golden Temple complex. The operation led to extensive damages, following which the SGPC filed a suit in the Delhi high court in 1985.
On the court’s order, both sides — the Union government and SGPC — are ready to resolve the dispute out of court since 2019. However, no meeting has been held between the two sides so far. The SGPC discussed the issue in its last executive committee meeting held on June 2 and resolved to start the process of talks after the Operation Bluestar anniversary on June 6.
“The SGPC is looking for possibilities of out-of-court settlement… However, we would like to warn it against taking the risk of doing so as the issue is not of money but is related to the dignity and sentiments of the Sikh community,” said Khalsa.
The purpose of filing this suit by the then SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra was to make the Centre admit that the military action was totally unjustified, he said, asking the incumbent, Bibi Jagir Kaur, to “stay alert on this issue and address it considering the sentiments of the Sikhs”.