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Diaspora Sikh bodies & Gurudwara Committees warn against removal of martyrs’ names from Saka June 1984 Memorial

May 7, 2013 | By

London, United Kingdom (May 07, 2013): According to information shared by Bhai Dabinderjit Singh of Sikh Federation UK, a meeting of various UK Sikh bodies and Gurudwara Committees was held on May 05, 2013 to discuss the issue of opposition to the naming of Saka June 1984 memorial after the name of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other martyrs of June 1984.

Gurdwara Yaadgaar Shaheedan – the memorial for martyrs of Saka June 1984

According to related documents accessed by the Sikh Siaysat News (SSN), a resolution was unanimously adopted after the meetings, which warns against the removal of martyrs’ name from the memorial.

The resolution also extends full support to Baba Harman Singh, head of Damdami Taksal (Chowk Mehta) on this issue.

Bhai Darbinderjit Singh informed Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) through a written communication that over 250 Sikh Gurudwaras and organizations across the globe have endorsed upon this resolution.

“The Sikh Federation (UK) has had a fantastic response from Gurdwaras and Sikh organisation across the UK and abroad” said Dabinderjit Singh.

“Over 120 UK Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations have signed up to the resolution” he added.

Bhai Dabinderjit Singh told Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) that the Sikh Federation (UK) had also obtained support for the resolution and has the authority to mention over 35 Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations from Canada, over 30 Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations from USA, over 25 Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations from Italy and over 50 Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations from Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

It is notable that in June 1984 the Indian state had launched an armed attack on various Sikh Gurudwaras in Punjab and neighboring states.  The Indian army invaded Sri Darbar Sahib complex (Amritsar). Historic structure of Sri Akal Takhat Sahib was destroyed with tank-shots and the Army set ablaze the Sikh Reference Library located in the parikarma of Sri Darbar Sahib. Thousands of innocent pilgrims were massacred by the Army in this armed attack (called Operation Blue Star) that had reportedly been never reviewed by the Indian Army.

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Bhai Amrik Singh, Sardar Gen. Subegh Singh, Baba Thara Singh and others laid their lives while defending the holy shrine from the armed attack.

Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale was recognized as the Great Sikh of the 20th Century in 2003 by Sri Akal Takhat Sahib.

On May 05, 2012 SGPC adopted a resolution to raise a martyrs’ memorial in the memory of Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other martyrs of June 1984. The Kar Sewa of this memorial was entrusted with Baba Harnam Singh, head of Damdami Taksal (Chowk Mehta). The memorial was inaugurated on April 27, 2013.

Brief History – Gurdwara Yaadgaar Shaheedan

As the memorial was named after Sant Jarnail Singh and other martyrs of June 1984 Indian state agencies and  media as well as certain political sections of Punjab started raised objections to it.

The SGPC that is currently controlled by Badal Dal, an ally in National Democratic Alliance led by Bhartiya Janta Party, is attempting to backtrack it’s own resolution under pressure from Badal Dal. It is notable that BJP, an ally of Badal Dal in Punjab government, has objected to the raising of memorial for the Sikh martyrs of June 1984. It is worth mentioning that BJP leader Lal Krishan Adwani had maintained in his auto-biography “My Country, My Life” that it was the BJP that had pressed Indira Gandhi and the Congress government of India to order an armed attack on Sri Darbar Sahib and other Sikh Gurudwara Sahib in June 1984.

Whereas, SGPC is attempting to backtrack it’s resolution, the Damdami Taksal and Sant Samaj seems to have taken firm stand that it was rightful to name the memorial after Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other martyrs of June 1984.

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