SGPC to install portrait of former Punjab CM’s assassin at Golden Temple museum
A portrait of Dilawar Singh, a cop-turned-militant involved in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, will be unveiled in the Central Sikh Museum at the Golden Temple complex on Tuesday.
A portrait of Dilawar Singh, a cop-turned-militant involved in the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, will be unveiled in the Central Sikh Museum at the Golden Temple complex on Tuesday, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) said.
Dilawar was a serving Punjab Police officer when he joined the terror organisation, Babbar Khalsa International, and became a suicide bomber to assassinate the Punjab CM on August 31, 1995. The blast at the secretariat complex in Chandigarh also claimed 16 other lives.
“A religious function will be organised at the museum on June 14 to unveil Dilawar Singh’s portrait in the presence of Sikh clergymen and SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami,” said Sulakhan Singh Bhangali, Golden Temple manager. “The portrait of Giani Bhagwan Singh, who was the head granthi of the Akal Takht during the Operation Bluestar in June 1984, will also be unveiled. Family members of both of them have been invited to the event.”
Portraits of many Sikh militants are already on display at the museum. Prominent among them are Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Amrik Singh and General Shabeg Singh (all three were killed in the Operation Bluestar in 1984), Sukhdev Singh Sukha and Harjinder Singh Jinda (both assassinated General AS Vaidya to avenge the military action at the Golden Temple).
Operation Bluestar was conducted by the army on June 6, 1984, to flush out militants from the Golden Temple complex. Former army chief General AS Vaidya had led the military action at the Golden Temple.
Displaying Dilawar’s portrait at the museum was a long-pending demand of radical Sikh groups, and even the highest Sikh temporal seat Akal Takht, which observes his death anniversary every year, declared him a “Qaumi Shaheed” (community martyr) in 2012 after a massive unrest in Punjab against the scheduled execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the convicts in Beant Singh’s assassination case.
The latest move is being seen in line with a radical shift in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which controls the SGPC, the apex gurdwara body, after it fielded Rajoana’s sister Kamaldeep Kaur as its candidate for the June 23 Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll. The party is seeking votes in support of an immediate release of Sikh prisoners, including Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara, another convict in the assassination case.