CHANDIGARH: Thirty years after Operation Bluestar , Shiromani AkaliDal (SAD)general secretary Sukhdev Singh Dhinds MP has written to Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asking the Centre to take back the gallantry awards presented to the military personnel who took part in Operation Bluestar inside the Golden Temple complex.
“This was the first such incident where Army went into the highest spiritual seat of a community. There was all-round condemnation of this act. I want to raise the issue that the Ministry of Defence (MoD), after the assault on the Temple where hundreds of innocent Sikhs were killed, gave gallantry awards to more than 10 Army personnel. I fail to understand that the government equated this operation with a victory over an enemy country. Such awards were given during the War with China S and the Indo-Pak wars. I am thankful to the present government which has shown great sympathy towards the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. I request you to officially withdraw the gallantry awards given to the Army personnel on account of Bluestar Operation. I feel the action by the government to give awards amounted to rubbing salt into the wounds of the Sikh community. I also request that any other Army award given in this operation to any other Army unit also be withdrawn,” Dhindsa’s missive said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal requested Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to consider the release of all Sikh detainees, who had been languishing in jails outside the state for the last 19-24 years. In a letter, he said the cases of the Sikh detainees pertained to a period when the state was in turmoil.
“I feel the time has come to consider the release of all Sikh detainees who have served prison terms of 20 years so that they can be released as per the premature release policies of various state govts and the UT of Chandigarh,” he wrote.