The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s plan of talking with the Union Government of India (GOI) for an out-of-court settlement in Rs. 1,000-crore damages suit related to June 1984 Ghallughara (holocaust) has stirred a row as Damdami Taksal has expressed its disagreement on the move citing that it would not go down well with the Sikh community.
As the SGPC is gearing up to initiate the process on the order of Delhi High Court, where this suit was filed in 1985 by the apex gurdwara body during the regime of late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the Taksal has come out to warn the gurdwara body against the move.
Today, the Sikh seminary issued a special statement in this regard, wherein its chief Harnam Singh Khalsa said, “Taksal was the largest group that fought the Indian security forces when they attacked Sri Harmandar Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib. Therefore, apart from the sangat, Taksal should also be taken into the loop before deciding about initiating the talk. With the involvement of Taksal and sangat, SGPC cannot attain a settlement.”
He said, “The SGPC should keep sentiments of the Sikhs in mind while taking any final decision. We want to warn the SGPC against taking the risk of indulging in talk with the Centre. It is not a matter of the money but the dignity and sentiments of the Sikhs living across the world. The army attack was a big attack on the Sikh qaum and painful for the Sikhs. The pain of this wound is persisting”.
“Motive behind filing this suit by the then SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra was to make the Centre admit unjustified action. So, the SGPC president Jagir Kaur must not take this issue lightly and ascertain the Sikh sentiments. If the dispute is settled through this talk, Panth will not accept it”, said Taksal chief.
On the court’s order, both sides — the Union government and SGPC — are ready to resolve the dispute out of court for the last two years, but no progress has been witnessed in this direction. Moreover, the Covid-19 outbreak has affected this talk. Recently, SGPC discussed this issue during its executive committee meeting on June 2. As a result, SGPC executives decided to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek an appointment for a talk.
Notably, Taksal’s then head, Shaheed Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, led the armed Sikhs who fought the Indian army in June 1984.