Golden Temple museum to display portrait of militant who killed SYL officials in 1990

Updated on Jul 06, 2022 08:13 PM IST
The apex gurdwara body SGPC took the decision at its executive committee meeting on Wednesday, after a demand was made by the separatist Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa
SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami addressing a press conference in Amritsar on Wednesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami addressing a press conference in Amritsar on Wednesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
By, Amritsar

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday decided to display the portrait of slain Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) militant Balwinder Singh Jatana — who in 1990 had killed government officials supervising the construction of disputed Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal — at the Central Sikh Museum in Golden Temple complex, days after singer Sidhu Moose Wala glorified him in his posthumously released song ‘SYL’.

The apex gurdwara body took the decision at its executive committee meeting after a demand was made by the separatist Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa. Earlier, on June 16, the SGPC had unveiled the portrait of cop-turned-BKI militant Dilawar Singh, who became a suicide bomber to assassinate then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995.

“Bhai Jatana made a great contribution for the protection of Punjab river waters. He took action to stop the construction of the canal through which the state’s waters were to be shared with Haryana, and stopped Punjab from becoming a desert. Keeping in view his contributions, his portrait will be put up in the museum,” said SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami.

The SYL canal’s construction was stopped after Jatana and his associates killed two officials in Chandigarh on March 24, 1990. On September 4, 1991, he was eliminated by the Punjab Police in an encounter. Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh thanked the SGPC for accepting their demand.

SGPC to develop Gurbani app

The SGPC has also decided to create a mobile app on Gurbani, Sikh history and Sikh Rehat Maryada, days after the Akal Takht jathedar asked the committee to investigate errors in Gurbani apps.

“The errors have been confirmed in the report of a sub-committee formed to investigate the database of these apps. Action will be taken to shut down such apps, and soon a database of nitnem (daily prayers) and other banis (hymns) will be generated and an app will be developed by the SGPC itself. If any private developer seeks approval to launch an app, then the Gurbani database will be provided to them as per rules,” said Dhami.

Among other resolutions, it was decided to revive the tradition of conducting an annual historical conference through Sikh History Research Board. After a demand received from Australia, 220 holy saroops (scriptures) of Guru Granth Sahib will be sent there through a chartered flight, said Dhami. A decision has also been taken to preserve the haveli (mansion) of Peer Budhu Shah at Sadhaura in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district.

Meanwhile, the SGPC slammed the Punjab government’s decision to create an industrial park by “destroying” the Mattewara Forest in Ludhiana district and sought its evocation. Speaking about the final report of a special investigation team (SIT) that ruled out any political link behind the 2015 sacrilege cases, the SGPC president asked those leaders who were involved in “doing politics over the issue” to tender an apology to the Sikh Panth (community).


    Surjit Singh is a correspondent. He covers politics and agriculture, besides religious affairs and Indo-Pak border in Amritsar and Tarn Taran.

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