CHANDIGARH, June 26: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today said that the party was in favour of setting up a peace memorial in memory of all those who lost their lives during the dark days of terror in Punjab. The party said, setting up a memorial about Operation Bluestar within the precincts of the Darbar Sahib will defile it sanctity.
“You can’t raise a memorial to anybody parallel to the Darbar Sahib and Akal Takhat Sahib”, he asserted. Besides, he added, the memorial should be for peace and harmony and not for mistrust and disharmony.
Addressing a press conference here today, Capt Amarinder appealed to all the Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular to think seriously as where the Akalis were heading for. He said, it was the issue of the sanctity of the Holiest Shrine of the Sikhs and no memorials should be allowed to be raised parallel to it.Condemning Mr Badal for facilitating the honouring of Balwant Singh Rajoana, the assassin of late Beant Singh, he said, it was shameful as how Mr Badal as Chief Minister had presided over the self proclaimed assassin of another Chief Minister who laid down his life for peace and harmony in the state.
The PCC President said, the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had once again behaved in a cowardly manner and succumbed to the pressure of the radicals. He said, had Mr Badal summoned the guts and courage and put down his foot the memorial would not have come up inside the Darbar Sahib.
He pointed out, the Darbar Sahib has been attacked on a number of occasions earlier also but never were any memorials set up inside. He said, there are ‘kallughara’ (massacre) memorials at different places in Punjab but none in the Holy Shrine.
Capt Amarinder questioned the very assertion of Mr Badal that the memorial coming up inside the Darbar Sahib will be a memorial to peace. He asked, “how can it be when you are leaving out thousands of others who laid down their lives for peace in Punjab”. He said, the memorials cannot be selective.
He asked, what about 1784 police cops including two DIGs, 7 SPs,12 DSPs and others who were killed while fighting terrorism.
He pointed out, there were a number of Congress, Akali, BJP and Communist leaders who were killed by the terrorists. “Does Mr Badal think their sacrifices were not worth the memory?” he asked, while referring to the killing of senior Congress leaders like late Beant Singh and others.
He said, similarly other Congress leaders like Joginder Pal Pandey, Lala Bhagwan Das, Former Food Supply Minister, Jagat Ram, Former Cabinet Minister,Brij Bhushan Mehra, Former Speaker, Darshan Singh Kay Pee, Ex-Minister, V.N. Tiwari, Ex-MP, Satpal Parasar, MLA, Baldev Singh, MLA, Sudesh Kumar, Satnam Singh Bajwa, Former Minister (Father of Pratap Singh Bajwa, MP), Sant Singh Gill and others.Besides, veteran journalist and Lala Jagat Narain and his son Shri Ramesh ji were also killed by the terrorists.
He said, Mr Badal had even forgotten his own Akali leaders like Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, Balwant Singh (Ex Minister), Bhai Shaminder Singh (ex-MP), Dr Rajinder Kaur (ex-MP and daughter of Master Tara Singh), Harbhajan Singh Sandhu (ex Minister), Bhan Singh Secretary SGPC, Sher Singh Dhumakheri (President Youth Akali Dal), besides attacks on Tohra and Talwandi leaving some SGPC members dead.
Besides, senior BJP Leaders like Shri Hit Abhilashi, President Punjab BJP, Harbans Lal Khanna (ex-MLA) and Tarsem Singh Kohar (President Bhartiya Yuva Janata Morcha) were also killed.