Two plaques holding former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi responsible for the 1984 riots will be part of a memorial which has been constructed by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee here as a “reminder of injustice” towards the victims.
The metal plates, titled “Dastan-e-Indira Gandhi” and “Dastan-e-Rajiv Gandhi”, were presented to the office-bearers of the DSGMC by the 1984 riot victims council. They read: “Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, in a self-styled dictatorial manner, ordered the Operation Bluestar thereby attacking the Golden Temple where the Sikh sangat had gathered to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev.
“In this so called military operation, thousands of innocent Sikhs were killed, sacrileges committed and the Akal Takht was razed to the ground. Hundreds of Sikh military personnel, falsely implicated in sedition cases, were killed after dragging them out of their barracks.”
The group said widows of riot victims will carry these plaques to the gurdwara. “The plaques tell the truth. This is what had happened. This is what Indira and Rajiv did. We have received the plates. The committee members will now take a decision on where they will be installed.
“The only thing that we need to talk through is whether these two attackers merit a mention at a memorial in a gurdwara,” said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, general secretary, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee. The memorial, called “The Wall of Truth”, has been built in an area of 2,500 sqm at a cost of Rs 2.25 crore at the Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib near Parliament. It was thrown open to the public on Sunday. The structure has names of thousands of Sikhs killed in the riots and people from other communities who laid down their lives trying to save them etched on its walls.
The ‘Wall of Truth’ had courted controversy in 2013 with the Congress-backed SAD (Delhi) opposing the choice of venue. At the memorial, space has also been given to the observations of different panels which were set up by the government to probe the riots.
The decision to build it had come in 2013, close on the heels of acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who was facing allegations of perpetrating the riots, by a Karkardooma court in April that year. The construction work had begun in November 2014.