The monument is named Gurdwara Yaadgaar Shaheedaan. An inscription at its entrance reads: Memorial in the memory of 14th head of Damdami Taksal Martyr Saint Giani Jarnail Singh Ji Khalsa Bhindranwale and all martyrs of 1984.
The inscription, which reportedly had taken the SGPC and SAD by surprise, was noticed only after many of the key participants in the ceremony, including Akal Takht chief Giani Gurbachan Singh and Makkar, had left.
The 16th head of Damdami Taksal Harnam Singh Khalsa reportedly unveiled the inscription.
The Akali Dal had earlier refrained from coming out in support of the memorial reportedly because its alliance partner was not in favour of it. Neither the CM nor his deputy ever visited the memorial since it was built in 2013 by Damdami Taksal.
Makkar at that time had said that it was supposed to be a Gurdwara and was not supposed to have any names or photos. Akal Takht chief too, at the time, had claimed ignorance.
On Monday, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said, “This apparently appears to be an attempt to woo Sikhs ahead of 2017 assembly polls. Sukhbir Badal wants to prove his Panthic credentials. It is for the first time today that he paid obeisance there. Whatever his intentions are, he has finally bowed his head before the martyrs led by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.”
SAD’s political advisor and SGPC executive member Rajinder Singh Mehta, said, “The controversy [over memorial] is politically motivated. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is Sikh community’s martyr and has been declared as martyr by none other than [highest temporal seat of Sikhs] the Akal Takht. We welcome that Deputy CM went to pay obeisance there today.”
Mehta, who accompanied Sukhbir to the memorial on Monday morning, when asked why it took three years for deputy chief minister to go and pay obeisance there, said, “Sometimes there are compulsions in the government. Party’s stance is different and due to certain compulsions at times, government stance is different sometimes.”