Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the clash of two groups inside the Golden Temple premises saying such sacrilegious conduct amounts to "disrespecting and nullifying" the sacrifices of the martyrs.
SAD general secretary Maheshinder Singh Grewal, referring to the clash outside the Akal Takht, said the manner in which supporters of the SAD (Amritsar) tried to use a religious function to revive themselves politically was "condemnable".
A clash broke out between SAD (Amritsar) activists and guards of Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) task force during an event on the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple premises in Amritsar today, leaving at least 12 persons injured. Grewal, in a statement here, termed the violence as "sacrilegious conduct" and an anti-Sikh act which had lowered the prestige of the Sikh community. He appealed to Sikhs worldwide to maintain calm and assured them that the SAD would not allow anyone to play politics on the issue and said Operation Bluestar was a "black spot" in the history of Sikhism.
The entire community was deeply wounded and the Operation has left a deep scar on the Sikh psyche, he said, its anniversary is commemorated every year and due care is taken to present a united Sikh face to the community as well as the world at large.
However, this year a political group which has been rejected by the people of Punjab deliberately instigated violence at the highest temporal seat of the community to gain cheap publicity as well as attempt to revive itself politically."
The SAD leader said he was confident that Sikh community would not be misled by such fanatic fringe elements who wanted to spread discord amongst community members as well as endanger the hard won peace of Punjab.
He also appealed to the Punjab government-led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to take appropriate action against any fringe elements bent on disturbing peace as well as disrespecting the martyrs with their sacrilegious actions. "I also congratulate the chief minister for ensuring peace and communal harmony in Amritsar despite attempts to disrupt the same," he said.
Grewal also appealed to all political parties and groups to maintain the sanctity of the Akal Takth as well as the entire Darbar Sahab complex.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister and Amritsar MP Amarinder Singh expressed shock over the clash inside the Golden Temple. He said, the incident could have easily been prevented had both the sides exercised restrain and restricted themselves to the purpose of the meeting and not indulged in publicity hunting.
In a statement, Singh said, as a true Sikh it pained him to watch the images on television that people were pouncing at each other and tossing turbans and that too right at the Akal Takht. He expressed surprise as how could people clash with each other when they had gathered for the same purpose to commemorate the army action in Durbar Sahab. "I fail to understand why they clashed with each other when everybody's purpose there was the same to commemorate the tragic events of 1984," he said.
Singh, who had resigned from the Parliament in 1984 to protest against the military action, said today's incidents have only exposed those people that they were not there to commemorate the sad and tragic event in Sikh history but to score political points over each other.
He said, it was so strange that the people who had gathered to protest the military action in Darbar Sahib had themselves indulged in something which amounted to nothing less than sacrilege itself. "Unsheathing the swords and tossing each others' turbans at our holiest place, the Durbar Sahib only amounts to sacrilege for which the culprits must be brought to the book," he asserted.