Akal Takht officiating jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh emphasised maintaining unity among the Sikh community and tagged Operation Bluestar as “Chaurasi (84) Da Ghallughara” (holocaust). He was speaking during the 37th Operation Bluestar anniversary observed in the Golden Temple complex today.
Despite the Covid threat and weekend lockdown, a large number of devotees throng the complex that was under tight security. Amid chanting of pro-Khalistan slogans and carrying placards of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale by separatist Sikh organisation activists, the event passed off peacefully.
The ‘parallel’ acting jathedar of Akal Takht Dhyan Singh Mand, 2015 Sarbat Khalsa main organiser Jarnail Singh Sakhira, SAD (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann and actor Deep Sidhu, who was charged for provoking the Red Fort violence, were also present.
Justifying the pro-Khalistan slogans, Giani Harpreet Singh said the event could never be forgetton by the Sikhs. “It is like an irretrievable wound and such slogans help them relieving their pain and anger against the atrocities of governments”, he said.
Referring to blood-stained pages of the Sikh history, he said like the earlier massacres of the Sikhs in 1746 and 1762 by the Mughal empire that were termed ‘chhota ghallughara’ and ‘vadda ghallughara’ in which 7,000 and 35,000 Sikhs were killed, the 1984 Army attack was nothing short of “ghallughara”.
Delivering his customary message from the podium of Akal Takht, Giani Harpreet Singh said words like ‘Operation Blue Star’ or ‘Saka Neelataara’ must be avoided to refer the event as these terms hurt the sentiments. “Ghallughara was the appropriate terminology for it”, he said.
He said many e-mails were received demanding to term it “Amritsar Sikh genocide”. “It was never restricted to Amritsar only, but 37 other Sikh shrines across the country were targeted. The genocide had started on the streets of Delhi, Kanpur, Tata Nagar and other areas between November 1-4 in 1984”, he said. He said the Sikh organisations should unite keeping aside their differences of opinion.
Later on, in the presence of Takht Kesgarh Sahib Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh, head priest of Akal Takht Giani Gurmukh Singh and SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, the jathedar honoured Ishar Singh, son of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, along with Bhai Manjit Singh and Satwant Kaur, brother and daughter of Shaheed Bhai Amrik Singh, former federation head, with siropa at Akal Takht.