Just ahead of the 37th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has put the bullet-hit Bir of Guru Granth Sahib on display, along with the bullet that had hit it. The Bir was struck by a bullet during operation blue star in 1984. Devotees jostled to the Golden Temple on Thursday where the Granth has been put up for a three-day display.
The decision of putting the Granth Sahib on display was taken in a special meeting of the SGPC executive committee in Amritsar on Wednesday. SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur while addressing the media said, “Sikh qaum (community) can never forget the June 1984 Ghallughara (holocaust).”
“It is an oozing wound that is still painful after 37 years. The available relics associated with this holocaust will be shown to the sangat (devotees) so that the future generations can remember the atrocities committed on the community,” added Kaur.
She informed that the golden plates of Sri Harmandar Sahib and Sri Akal Takht Sahib, which were also shot upon during the military operation against the terrorists, would also be kept for devotees to see.
The saroop, which was installed in the sanctum sanctorum at that time, was hit by a bullet when Operation Blue Star was underway. The Saroop was showered with flowers as it was taken from Akal Takht to Shaheedi Asthan of Baba Gurbaksh Singh, where it was installed for darshan.
In a first, this move by the Shiromani Akali Dal-dominated SGPC comes at a time when SAD leadership is facing political heat over the 2015 sacrilege incidents.
Live telecast and media coverage of the event
Emotions ran high as devotees ran to the temple to catch a glimpse of the saroop. LED screens were installed at various points around Akal Takht relaying live feed for the devotees. The event was also telecasted live on social media platforms for those who could not visit the shrine.
SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur displayed the bullet while Akal Takht head granthi Giani Gurmukh Singh showed the saroop to the media.
The saroop was not opened fully fearing the damage, however, the hole made by the bullet was visible clearly.
Devotees express shock
A devotee named Dalbir Singh came all the way from Patiala to pay obeisance along with his wife and son. On viewing the saroop he remarked, “So far, we had only heard from preachers about the holy bir being attacked in 1984. Finally, today we have seen it. It’s painful,” he said.
Amandeep Kaur, a newlywed from Ajnala, said: “I was aware of the army action at Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht Sahib, but not on the holy saroop. Seeing it is shocking and distressing. We never got justice.”
SGPC president gets emotional on seeing the saroop
Expressing agony and holding the central government of that time responsible, Kaur said, “During the attack of June 1984, the central government of the time had not only demolished Sri Akal Takht Sahib, the highest institution of the Sikh community, but also targeted the most sacred shrine of the world, Sachkhand Sri Harmandar Sahib.”
“Foreign invaders like Zakariya Khan and Abdali also targeted Sikhs and Sri Harmandar Sahib, but the military attack of June 1984 is even more painful because it was carried out by the Congress government of our own country. This Sikh holocaust will always be a part of the Sikh psyche,” she added.
6th of June is when the 37th anniversary of Operation Blue Star will be observed. The bullet-hit relics will be on display for the devotees from June 3 to 5.