'Badal hid in UP during Op Bluestar'

| | Chandigarh
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'Badal hid in UP during Op Bluestar'

Monday, 10 February 2014 | PNS | Chandigarh

After UK Government’s recent disclosures on Operation Bluestar raised the dust of controversy, it has refused to settle down back home in India, especially Punjab.

Post revelations, political parties in Punjab have entered into a slugfest attacking each other, and making exposures about one-another’s involvement. Punjab’s former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had further fanned the controversy while targeting Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal claiming that he had run away from situation, and “hid himself in Uttar Pradesh” failing in his “commitment he had made, with his colleagues, that they will physically confront the Army if it entered the Darbar Sahib”.

Rubbishing the same, Badal had claimed that he was “in jail and remained in Punjab before and during Operation Bluestar”.Rejecting Badal’s claims, permanent invitee to the Congress Working Committee Capt Amarinder on Sunday challenged him “to prove him wrong”.

“I will be releasing documents in due course of time to establish that Badal was a free man before and after Operation Bluestar and was arrested much later. Either Badal has lost his memory or he is deliberately lying to mislead people,” said  Amarinder.

“let us leave it to the people to make their own judgment based on historical facts and records as who is speaking the truth and who is lying,” he said adding, “had it not been Badal, I would have suggested swearing under oath before Akal Takht Sahib whether he was lying or speaking the truth. But given Badal’s record, he will never hesitate to lie even before Akal Takht Sahib”.

Dubbing Badal as “liar” and his claims as “white lies and clever ploy to mislead Sikh masses about his cowardice”, the Congress spokesperson Sukhpal Khaira claimed that he “was not in jail during Operation Bluestar, and was arrested from his Chandigarh residence on June 10 in 1984”.

Quoting an excerpt from former Chief Minister Surjit Singh Baranal’s book, Quest for Freedom, he said that as per the book, Badal and Barnala were arrested from their residences in Chandigarh on June 10, 1984, and were first taken to Burail Jail, from where they were flown by BSF airplane to Bhopal and lodged at Panchmari, a comfortable hill station 3,200 feet above sea level in Madhya Pradesh.

“In order to avoid direct clash with security forces if he march towards Amritsar, Badal very cleverly manipulated the then government to have him detained under National Security Act (NSA),” said Khaira.

He pointed that Badal and Barnala had also issued a statement on June 12, which was never published in print due to complete censorship in Punjab in which Badal eulogised brave fight put up by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his men, and had called upon Sikhs to observe June 17 as ‘aardas-divas’ as a mark of protest.

The statement had also urged all Sikhs holding positions in India to resign in protest and also declared that Sikhs would fight to the last man. Challenging Badal to present documentary evidence to rebut his charges, Khaira said that if not, he should tender “an unconditional apology to the Sikh masses and Sikh army deserters for misleading and hoodwinking them on the sensitive issue of Bluestar”.

Reacting strongly, SAD termed Khaira’s allegations as “derogatory, false, baseless and politically-motivated”.

“Repeated false statements of Khaira cannot absolve the Congress of its sins committed during Operation Bluestar and in November 1984 during Sikh massacre,” said SAD secretary and spokesman Daljit Singh Cheema.

“On one side, he himself is admitting that moderate leaders like Badal and Barnala were detained under NSA by none else but the Congress Government led by Indira Gandhi and on the other, he is trying to put blame on the sufferers”, he added.

Cheema said that Khaira himself is admitting that censorship was imposed on media but he should also tell that who was responsible for gagging the media and why at the time of Operation Bluestar. On the issue of Sikh Army deserters still languishing in jails, Cheema asked Khaira that he should also make it clear that it was the Congress regime which has sent them to jails.

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