SGPC in a fix as Damdami Taksal fails to complete Op Bluestar portrait gallery
With just days left for the 37th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) is in a quandary as Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal has failed to complete a portrait gallery dedicated to those killed in action in the Golden Temple complex even as the project was assigned four years back.
Sikh hardliners are questioning the apex gurdwara body over the delay. “The SGPC, being custodian of the project, must clarify about the fate of the gallery. The gurdwara body president must tell what hurdle they are facing in completing the project,” said Kanwarpal Singh, a radical Sikh leader.
Besides militants, portraits of the devotees killed in the operation were also proposed to be installed in the gallery. The portraits will include those of slain militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the then head of the seminary, and his military adviser Major General Shabeg Singh who helped fortify the shrine complex.
In 2017, the SGPC executive body passed a resolution to set up the gallery in the basement of the existing Bluestar memorial. The seminary had constituted a four-member committee to prepare a blueprint of the project and collect information and pictures of those killed in the operation whose anniversary is marked on June 6.
Also, a delegation of radical outfits is planning to meet SGPC chief Jagir Kaur in this regard. The Damdami Taksal is likely to face their anger during a ceremony to be held at Akal Takht to mark the anniversary, it is learnt.
Taksal chief Harnam Singh Khalsa was not available for comments.
Seminary’s media adviser Sarchand Singh said, “The work on the gallery was stopped due to the pandemic outbreak. We are working on a collection of portraits of those killed. This is taking time.”
The Taksal has been collecting donations from the devotees at the entrance of the proposed gallery. This had raised eyebrows of many in the community.
The SGPC chief could not be reached for comments.
“We have repeatedly asked the Taksal to complete the project. Its chief has assured us to do the needful at the earliest,” said SGPC senior vice president Surjit Singh.
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