Directory on Operation Bluestar released

Directory on Operation Bluestar released

Radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa on Tuesday came out with a directory which includes profiles of people killed during Operation Bluestar, a military operation inside the Golden temple in Amritsar started by the Army on June 3, 1984. The organisation refers to those killed as “martyrs”.

The directory includes the profiles of 220 Sikhs, which was released in the presence of their family members. Seventeen persons mentioned in the directory were related to Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The “Directory of Martyrs” was presented to Ishar Singh, the son of Bhindrawale. Tuesday’s event coincides with the commencement of work to raise a memorial to these Sikhs in the shrine. The updated edition carries the messages of Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani. The directory also mentions a 13-year-old boy, Sarabjit Singh Dadher, who was the youngest killed in the operation.

Meanwhile, the Akal Takht, the highest Sikh temporal seat, will honour former chief minister Beant Singh’s assassin and Babbar Khalsa International terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana on Wednesday. Rajoana, who was recently declared a ‘living martyr’ by the Akal Takht, is on death row and currently lodged in Patiala jail. His foster sister has been invited to accept the honour.

Geelani in his message said that the Sikhs have a history of chivalry, bravery and sacrifices. “They have learnt the hard way defending their faith.. Suffering at the hands of a common tormenter binds (Sikhs and Kashmiri’s) together,” he wrote. Radical organisations said they brought out the directory to perpetuate the memories of these Sikhs for the coming generation. They said it brings on record all those “unknown and unsung heroes” of one phase of the struggle of the Sikh people.

The directory includes two women, Paramjit Kaur Sandhu and Upkar Kaur, president of women wing of Sikh students Federation, who were killed during the operation. It also recalls the role of more than 30 kar sewaks (voluntary workers) who came from Nanded few months before June 1984.

Cong opposes memorial

Meanwhile, Punjab Congress President Capt Amarinder Singh said it was completely wrong to set up Operation Bluestar Memorial as it was not going to help the state in anyway. He also condemned the attempts to glorify Rajoana. Capt Amarinder maintained that Punjab cannot afford such things, like the Bluestar Memorial, as the last three decades had only seen the state’s economic decline. “Such memorials do not send right signals. We must look forward,” he said. He questioned the attempts of glorifying Rajoana, saying, “Rajoana is a murderer who had murdered our chief minister”.

Capt Amarinder clarified that he had only opposed the death penalty to Rajoana since he was against the capital punishment to anyone.

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