directions from the head of the Akal Takht, pro-Khalistan slogans
were raised Wednesday by a handful of people during the function
to mark the 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar by the Indian
Army at the Golden Temple complex here.
The main focus of the event Wednesday was on the memorial being
set up near the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism,
by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to honour
those killed during the Operation Bluestar June 1984.
Scores of people, including devotees, heavily armed terrorists and
security personnel were killed during the operation in which the
army entered the complex around the Harmandir Sahib, popularly
known as the Golden Temple, to flush out heavily-armed terrorists
led by radical Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
The Golden Temple complex, except for the sanctum sanctorum,
suffered extensive damage during the army operation in which
mortars and heavy artillery were used against the equally
heavily-armed terrorists holed up inside the complex. The Akal
Takht, which was badly damaged, was re-built.
Akal Takht jathedar (chief), Gurbachan Singh, read out the message
for the Sikh religion on the occasion. He said that the Sikhs will
never forget the darkest chapter in their religious history.
Hundreds of devotees were present during the occasion.
The Sikh clergy and the SGPC honoured Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of
Balwant Singh Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)
terrorist who has been condemned to the gallows for the
assassination (Aug 31, 1995) conspiracy of then Punjab chief
minister Beant Singh.
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar told media Wednesday that
building a memorial for those killed in Operation Bluestar was
justified. He said that the Sikh religion will never forget the
operation and the damage it did to the Sikh psyche.
Radical Sikh organisations marked the day as genocide day.
Religious prayers were offered for those who died during the