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SGPC renovates headquarters first time since Operation Bluestar; preserves bullet marks as evidence

punjab Updated: Nov 03, 2017 20:11 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Operation Blue Star,SGPC,Golden temple

Bullet marks on the facade of the Teja Singh Samundari Hall building preserved with metallic circles after the renovation. (HT Photo)

In the first renovation of its headquarters, Teja Singh Samundri Hall, since army action in the 1984 Operation Bluestar, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has preserved the bullet marks on the building. The hall is inside the Golden Temple Complex.

Most bullet marks have been preserved inside metallic circles, only a few are left to be covered. The bullet marks that riddle the front walls at the entrance to the hall and elsewhere, have been preserved as the building is vital evidence in the Rs 1,000-crore compensation claim that the SGPC is fighting in the Supreme Court against the Central government.

Originally, the case was filed in 1998 in an Amritsar court when late Gurcharan Singh Tohra was the SGPC president. After the demise of Tohra, the SGPC withdrew the case from this court and filed it before the Supreme Court.

“Preserving these marks was the need of the hour. So, any renovation is done with advice of experts,” said Roop Singh, secretary, SGPC.

Renovation decision taken in March 2016

The decision to renovate the building was taken during an executive committee meeting of the SGPC on March 22, 2016. The then president, Avtar Singh Makkar, who had chaired the meeting had made it clear that the bullet marks would be preserved properly.

Besides, Teja Singh Samundri Hall, Makkar had also announced that the bullet marks on the Darshani Deori (entrance to the sanctum sanctorum of Golden Temple) would also be preserved.

The project was assigned to Baba Kashmir Singh Bhuri Wale. Before starting the renovation, the SGPC also carried out the videography and clicked photographs of the building.

The SGPC has presented photographs and news articles about Operation Bluestar and the destruction of some of its buildings before the court.

The photographs of the demolished Akal Takht building; photographs of some of the bullet marks on some of the buildings in the main shrine complex, including the Darshani Deori, the library and several others buildings have also been submitted.

First Published: Nov 03, 2017 09:14 IST