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Memorial row casts shadow on Bluestar anniversary
Perneet Singh
Tribune News Service

Amritsar/Chowk Mehta, June 6
The Operation Bluestar Memorial row cast a shadow over the programme organised to mark the 29th anniversary of the Army operation at Akal Takht and Chowk Mehta, which passed off peacefully.

The scene at Akal Takht and Chowk Mehta, the headquarters of the Damdami Taksal, presented contrasting pictures. While the Taksal was enthusiastic to observe the event after constructing the memorial, the SGPC treaded with caution. The rift between SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa over the memorial also came to the fore, as Makkar sat inside Akal Takht, but the Baba stayed outside.

In his message to the community, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh said the wounds of Operation Bluestar were still fresh. “If August 15 is a day of celebrations for the countrymen, June 6 is the day of grief for Sikhs.” He said the country’s justice and administrative system had alienated the community.

Supporters of SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjeet Singh Mann resorted to intense sloganeering in support of Khalistan. There was also a minor scuffle between Mann supporters and the SGPC task force, when the latter prevented them from heading towards Akal Takht.

On the other hand, the Taksal put up an impressive show of strength at Chowk Mehta where thousands attended the congregation at Gurdwara Guru Darshan Parkash. Representatives of Sant Samaj and SGPC members attended the programme, while radicals also rallied behind Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa. A resolution was also passed justifying the naming of the Operation Bluestar Memorial after Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. 





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