Did the Sikh shrine committee honour killers of former Army chief Gen AS Vaidya?

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 11, 2012 21:32 hrs

New Delhi: Sikh shrine management committee SGPC had not honoured the killers of Gen. A.S. Vaidya, army chief in 1984 when the Golden Temple in Amritsar was stormed by the military, Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MP Naresh Gujral said Thursday.

Gujral told a TV channel that there was a misinformation campaign that the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) had honoured the killers' families.

Gujral's statement comes a day after the SGPC offered religious prayers and honoured the kin of Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha of the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF). The event was organised at the Golden Temple complex to observe the death anniversaries of the two terrorists.

According to Gujral, the SGPC, being an elected body through polls conducted by the Election Commission of India, had no link with the Punjab government.

"It is also wrong to say that the SGPC honoured the family members of Vaidya's killers. It did not. Like any other Sikh, the family of Vaidya's killers have a right to visit the Golden Temple to perform the annual remembrance ceremonies. They only did that," he said.

"The Punjab government (ruled by SAD) and the SGPC have nothing to do with it," he added.

Gujral said the media got carried away by the misinformation campaign.

On Wednesday, the SGPC presented 'siropas' (robe of honour) to Jinda's brother Bhupinder Singh and Sukha's kin Surjit Kaur after the prayers. The ceremony is held annually.

Jinda and Sukha shot dead Vaidya in Pune in 1986 to seek revenge for Operation Bluestar, the army operation to flush out terrorists holed up in the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines.

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