Chandigarh, July 6 (IANS) ‘Kar sewa’ (voluntary service) was launched on Thursday to build a martyrs’ gallery in the Harmandar Sahib complex in Amritsar, despite earlier objections by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal launched the voluntary service by Sikh devotees in the Golden Temple, where Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Kirpal Singh Badungar were present.
The proposed gallery will display the photographs of Sikh militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other militants who died during a violent struggle for a separate Sikh homeland of Khalistan in the state in the 1080s and early 1990s as well as during the June 1984 Operation Bluestar by the Army in the Sikh shrine at Amritsar, nearly 225 km from here.
The Chief Minister had urged Damdami Taksal head Harnam Singh Dhumma not to set up the gallery within Operation Bluestar Memorial inside the religious complex, saying it will disturb peace in Punjab.
However, the Damdami Taksal ignored the appeal and the SGPC, which manages the Golden Temple and other Sikh gurdwaras in Punjab and elsewhere, gave its approval for the gallery project in June.
Amarinder Singh has alleged that the Shiromani Akali Dal, which controls the SGPC, is behind the gallery project to disrupt peace in Punjab.