Foundation stone laid for '84 riots memorial

Foundation stone laid for '84 riots memorial

Despite objections from the New Delhi Municipal Council, the high priests of the Sikh community, along with top leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), laid the foundation stone for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots memorial at the Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib Complex on Wednesday.

Later, a large number of people from the Sikh community came to see the foundation stone and paid obeisance at the gurdwara on the occasion of the Martyrdom Day of Shri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth guru of the Sikhs.

Giani Balwant Singh Ji Nandgarh Jathedar of Takht Shri Damdama Sahib, Giani Gurbachan Singh Ji Jathedar of Akal Takht and Giani Tarlochan Singh Ji Jathedar of Takht Shri Keshgarh Sahib laid the foundation stone.

Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar, BJP national president Rajnath Singh and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj were present at the event.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal told reporters that every successive Congress government in the centre as well as the Delhi state had denied justice to people of the Sikh community, as those involved in the “genocide of Sikhs” happen to be Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler.

“These people are roaming free in Delhi, while the victims are running from pillar to post to get justice. Where do we go if we don’t get justice? We are left with no option but to raise a memorial for those who were killed so that the coming generations will at least know that innocents were mercilessly killed,” said Badal.

Badal said 14,000 people of the Sikh community were killed across the country in the “genocide”, and over 4,000 were killed in Delhi alone.

NDMC notice

Reacting to the notice served by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) last week to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), which termed the laying of the foundation stone as illegal, Badal asked whether the killing of innocent people was legal.

DSGMC president Manjit Singh G K said that no illegal work had been done, and the DSGMC would take all permissions from NDMC before starting construction of the memorial.

He said that 14 designs of the memorial had been received, and a final design would be selected soon.

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