Amritsar, Jul 6: Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal on Thursday began "kar sewa" (voluntary service) to set up a "martyrs gallery" at the Operation Bluestar memorial in the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar.
The portraits of Sikh militants, including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, as well as pilgrims killed during Operation Bluestar in June 1984 during the Army action will be placed in the gallery.
After a ceremony, kar sewa for the "martyrs" photo gallery to be set up in the basement of the memorial, was jointly started by the Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma, Akal Takht Jathedar, Gyani Gurbachan Singh, head priest Golden Temple Gyani Jagtar Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjit Singh GK along with various other Sikh religious and political figures was also present on the occasion. Akal Takht is the supreme temporal seat while SGPC is the apex religious body of the Sikhs.
SGPC chief Badungar said the apex religious body has decided that 300 photographs of Bhindrawale, Shubeg Singh, Thara Singh and others would be placed at the Damdami Taksal memorial gallery in the Golden Temple. Badungar denied any political move behind setting up of the gallery, saying it was an emotive issue for the Sikh community.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had slammed the Damdami Taksal for trying to "foment trouble" and "disrupting peace" by such activities. The chief minister had said on Tuesday that that he was against the gallery from day one and had asked Damdami Taksal not to indulge in such activities as it may provoke the people.
The SGPC on June 15 gave a go ahead for setting up a photo gallery of Sikh "martyrs" killed during Operation Bluestar, the 1984 army operation to flush out militants from the Golden Temple, at its executive committee meet.
The then Damdami Taksal chief Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale was killed during Operation Bluestar. After beginning the kar sewa, Dhumma also initiated "Akhand Path" in the memory of Bhindranwale and Shubeg Singh.
The portrait of Bhindrawale was installed in the controversial 'martyrs memorial' in the Golden Temple complex by Damdami Taksal in 2013.