Honouring Beant killer's kin upsets BJP in Punjab

Honouring former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassin’s family by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar on the death anniversary of the slain chief minister is brewing a controversy in Punjab.

The leaders of BJP, an ally of the ruling Akali Dal in Punjab, have expressed strong displeasure over such acts.

Former minister and outspoken party leader Lakshmi Kanta Chawla on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing deep anguish against the Punjab government for ‘allowing’ such activities in the state.

Beant Singh was blown to pieces in a suicide bomb attack executed by Dilawar Singh, a Punjab policeman who acted as a human bomb.

The bullet-proof car carrying Beant Singh was blown away at the Punjab and Haryana civil secretariat in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995.

On Sunday, the priest of the Akal Takht honoured the brother of Dilawar Singh. The SGPC had organised the event. The organisation manages the majority of Sikh shrines in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

The event was attended by a gathering of Sikhs, including members of some radical Sikh organisations.

Chawla has also opposed a plan to place the portrait of Dilawar Singh in the Sikh museum of Golden Temple.

If sources are to be believed, pro-Khalistan slogans were raised during the ceremony. The members of the SGPC objected to such sloganeering, but to no avail. The event is an annual feature at Amritsar.

The Akali Dal has invariably preferred to remain aloof from such activities. But at the same time, it avoids any public posturing on such controversial issues. Chawla has urged the PM to intervene before ‘the situation slips out of state government’s control’.

A Punjabi movie glorifying the assassins of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which has now been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for release, is already creating controversy.

Another upcoming movie glorifying the lives of ‘Sukha-Jinda’, the militant assassins of former Army Chief General A S Vaidya is expected to be released early next year. Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha had killed General Vaidya for his role in Operation Bluestar in 1984.

The movie reflects upon the 1986 crime in Pune for which both the killers were hanged in 1992.

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