DW BUREAU / DELHI / CHANDIGARH
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today took up the issue of return of rare manuscripts and documents taken from the Sikh Reference Library in the Sri Harmandar Sahib complex in Amritsar by the army authorities during Operation Bluestar back to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
A high level SAD delegation led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal called upon the union home minister today evening and apprised him that the army authorities had carted away a large number of manuscripts, documents and relics belonging to various Sikh Gurus from the Harmandar Sahib premises.
The SAD President said the Sikh sangat had been urging for return of this material back to the SGPC since a long time. He urged Amit Shah to take steps to locate this material and return the same to the Sikh community with due
The SAD president also apprised the Home minister that during the turbulent period immediately after the army attack on Sri Darbar Sahib which was ordered by former PM Indira Gandhi, a number of army personnel had become emotional and had left their units and visited Sri Harmandar Sahib out of faith and religious sentiments. He said these former army personnel were dismissed from the army without going into the depth of circumstances. Mr Badal said these former personnel should be rehabilitated and that all service benefits, including that of pension, should be extended to them.
The SAD delegation including MP Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Jathedar Tota Singh, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra, Daljit Singh Cheema and DSGMC president Manjinder Singh Sirsa, also discussed the special steps taken by the union government to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in a most befitting manner. The delegation requested the home minister to take up the issue of taking a Nagar Kirtan to Nankana Sahib by the SGPC and DSGMC with the Pakistan government. The delegation members said a demand in this context had been received from the Sikh sangat by both the SGPC and DSGMC and it would be in the fitness of things if permission for the same was granted by the union government after due consultation and clearance from the Pakistan government.
The delegation said June 6 reminded the Sikh community of the sins committed by the Congress government led by Indira Gandhi in 1984 whereby the holiest Sikh shrine – Harmandar Sahib and highest temporal seat of the Sikh community – Akal Takth were attacked by tanks causing irreparable loss besides killing of hundreds of innocent devotees who had gathered there on the martyrdom day of fifth Guru – Sri Arjan Dev ji. It said even after a gap of 35 years justice had not been done and now after the NDA had returned to power for the second consecutive time the Sikh community was hopeful that some of the most important issues concerned with this tragic attack on Harmandar Sahib would be solved at the earliest.