CHANDIGARH: The "kar sewa" (voluntary service) to set up a martyrs' gallery began on Thursday at the Operation Blue Star Memorial near the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
President of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Kirpal Singh Badungar, said 300 photographs of martyrs including Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, Shubeg Singh, Thara Singh and others would be placed in the gallery.
Besides, photographs depicting Sikh history and Operation Blue Star will be also displayed in the gallery. Sources said a committee will soon be constituted to select the photographs for the gallery.
The SGPC on June 15 gave the green light for setting up the gallery in memory of the people who were killed during the 1984 military operation to flush out separatist militants hiding inside the Golden Temple.
Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, who was Damdami Taksal's chief at the time, was killed in the operation.
Sources said Akhand path (prayer) in memory of the slain leader began on Thursday. A total of 220 akhand paths (prayers), each lasting 48 hours, will be held. They will be completed over a period of 440 days. It is for the first time that individual prayers for the slain hardliners, including Shubeg Singh, are being held.
The SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar denied any political motive behind the setting up of the gallery and said that it was an emotive issue for the Sikh community. The Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma Akal Takht Jathedar (high priest); Gurbachan Singh, head priest of Golden Temple; Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar and Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC) chief Manjit Singh GK were present on the occasion of laying the gallery's foundation stone.
The gallery is being set up in the basement of the memorial.