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Oct 10, 2012 at 05:22pm IST

SGPC honours former Army Chief General AS Vaidya's killers, calls them martyrs

Amritsar: In a controversial move the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday honoured the killers of former Army Chief General AS Vaidya in the Golden Temple, calling the Khalistani terrorists Sikh martyrs. Even as a debate is raging over the raising of a Blue Star memorial in Amritsar and the attack on Operation Blue Star commander Lieutenant General (retired) KS Brar in London, the commemorative ceremony held inside the Golden Temple premises by the SPGC has come as a shock to those involved in eliminating terrorism from Punjab.

A bhog ceremony was organised inside the Golden Temple for the two assassins of General Vaidya - Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha - whom the SGPC considers as martyrs. General Vaidya was the Chief of Army staff when operation Blue Star was launched in June 1984. General Vaidya was assassinated in 1986 in Pune by Jinda and Sukha. The two terrorists were convicted in the case and sentenced to death which was carried out on October 9, 1992 in Pune.

In Operation Blue Star several terrorists including the mastermind of the Khalistan movement, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, were killed. After the Army operation to flush out the terrorists was over, several Army officers and political leaders including the then prime minister Indira Gandhi was provided with enhanced security.

However, both Indira Gandhi and General Vaidya were killed by Khalistani terrorists. Indira as well as General Vaidya's assassins were declared "martyrs" by the SGPC. But SGPC's move to honour General Vaidya's assassins has come under severe criticism from the Congress and as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).