A Gurudwara dedicated to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was inaugurated on Thursday, 22 February, at his native village Rode in Moga district of Punjab. The Sikh temple honouring the Khalistan separatist leader, who was killed in Operation Bluestar in 1984, was build by the Damdami Taksal, an organisation he once headed.
The foundation stone for the temple named ‘Gurdwara Sant Khalsa’ was laid in September 2007.
Harnam Singh Dhuma, the head of Damdami Taksal, told The Indian Express that Bhindranwale’s ancestral home in Rode was converted to a Gurudwara to “honour his martyrdom.”
According to The Indian Express, the MLA of Bhaganpur refused to comment on the development calling it the village’s “internal matter.”
The event was attended by heads of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee, Damdami Taksal, and jathedars of the five Sikh takhts, The Times of India reported.
The development comes during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India and just a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh raised the issue of Khalistan with him.
Singh had also submitted a list of nine Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in target-killings and other hate crimes in Punjab, including financing and supplying weapons for terrorist activities, an official said.
Who Is Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale?
Bhindranwale has been a controversial figure in Indian history, with his supporters calling him a martyr while the government referred him as a militant.
The Damdami Taksal had recently also installed photos of Bhindranwale at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in the Operation Bluestar Memorial establishment.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a religious Sikh scholar who travelled across Punjab advocating a return to the Khalsa and was a supporter of the Anandpur Sahib resolution – the Sikhs’ demand for an autonomous region in the north of India.
After gaining significant support, Bhindranwale took up residence inside the Golden Temple and fortified it. On the orders of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, the holy Sikh shrine was raided by the Army in June 1984 in a mission named Operation Bluestar.
The battle left 83 Indian Army soldiers dead and nearly 150 militants, including Bhindranwale, were neutralised.
(The Quint, in association with BitGiving, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for an 8-month-old who was raped in Delhi on 28 January 2018. The baby girl, who we will refer to as 'Chhutki', was allegedly raped by her 28-year-old cousin when her parents were away. She has been discharged from AIIMS hospital after undergoing three surgeries, but needs more medical treatment in order to heal completely. Her parents hail from a low-income group and have stopped going to work so that they can take care of the baby. You can help cover Chhutki's medical expenses and secure her future. Every little bit counts. Click here to donate.)