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American Gurdwara Committee supports Memorial for June 1984 Martyrs

May 18, 2011 | By

San Francisco, USA (18 May 2011): American Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (AGPC) has supported the Panthic bodies that served an ultimatum to Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs in Amritsar to set up martyrs memorial in the Darbar Sahib complex and open ‘Martyrs Gallery’ at Akal Takht for the public.

The Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (Panch Pardhani) has given an ultimatum to Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee and Shiromani Akali Dal(Badal) to dedicate the ‘martyrs gallery to Sikh community and take concrete steps to set up martyrs memorial in the Golden Temple complex before May 27, 2011.

The Panthic body in a letter has stated that if the demand was not acceded by May 27, the Sikh organisations and Sant Samaj along with families of martyrs would draw strategy on May 30 to take the issue to logical end.

The letter signed by Harpal Singh Cheema General secretary of Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar(Panch Pardhani) have also been sent to Chief Minister and Chief Secretary of Punjab.

Jaswant Singh Hothi President and Pritpal Singh coordinator of American Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee said that it was duty of every Sikh to support the cause of Sikh martyrs. They added that status of martyrs was very high as per Sikh traditions. They said that memorial of Shaheed Baba Deep Singh ji and Shaheed Gurbux Singh in Golden Temple parikarma are living examples of it.

Harpal Singh Cheema in the letter to the Akal Takht Jathedar said that many Sikhs fought for the honour of Golden Temple whenever enemy forces attacked it. In the recent times in first week of June 1984 the government of that time had conducted army attack on Sikh shrine. During this attack many Sikhs martyred under the command of ant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawala the former head of Damdami Taksal. Cheema reminded

Akal Takht Jathedar that 27 years have passed since sacrifice made by Sikhs but no memorial is raised so far.

Cheema further said that when in 1986 the building of Akal Takht was reconstructed, one more storey was added to it where a martyrs gallery was proposed to be set up. The SGPC on February 20, 2012 through a resolution decided to build memorial of Sant Jarnail Singh BhindrawalE and other Sikh martyrs. He said that before June 1984 and after it, the control of SGPC remained with Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal). During that period the SAD(Badal) returned to power in punjab twice in 1997 and 2007 and at present Avtar Singh Makkar an appointee of Badals is president of SGPC.

The Panch Pardhani leader has questioned the logic behind locking the martyrs gallery on top floor of Akal Takht. He said that SGPC ws unable to honour the resolutions passed by it from time to time to give due recognition to Sikh martyrs. He said that earlier Dal Khalsa and other Sikh bodies had approached Akal Takht for the same purpose. He said that names and life history of all martyrs of army attack on Golden Temple in June 1984 be displayed at the martyrs gallery.

Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema hoped that Akal Takht Jathedar would get this work executed and maintain the respect of martyrs and Sikh traditions. The letter was also co-signed by Daya Singh Kakkar, Kulbir Singh Bara Pind, Balwinder Singh Jhabal, Kumikar Singh Mukandpur, Baldev Singh Sirsa,, Amrik Singh Issru, Jasvir Singh Khandur and Santokh Singh Salana.

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