LUDHIANA – Mounting pressure from Sikh organisations and to avoid any confrontation in Punjab, the District Congress Committee has abandoned the move to install a statue of the Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the Congress Bhawan here.

Earlier at a press conference in Chandigarh, Vijay Agnihotri, secretary, Punjab Youth Congress, had announced to install the statue to mark the anniversary of her assassination.

Several Sikh organisations have already opposed the move and issued open warning that their supporters would resist any such attempt.

The local administration and the police are learnt to have suggested to the party higher-ups that the move might add to the tension. The police are already in a spot over the recent killings of Hindu leaders.

District president of Ludhiana Congress, Gurpreet Gogi said that installation of statue of former prime minister was not an official decision but a party worker wanted to install it on his own.

“Party high command was not aware of any such event” said Gogi.

Shiromani Akali Dal had also asked Congress not to go ahead with the ceremony. On the other hand some Sikh organisations also held protest demonstrations against the ceremony.

Members of a Sikh organisation stage a protest near Congress Bhawan against installation of statue of Indira Gandhi, in Ludhiana Monday

The statue of Indira Gandhi was ordered from Jaipur in Rajasthan that would have arrived Ludhiana on Monday afternoon.

Vijay Agnihotri said, “The whole nation remembers Indira Gandhi as an Iron lady. She has worked immensely for the poor, farmers and downtrodden. There are various reasons that she continues to live in the memories of millions even 33 years after her demise”.

Word of caution by Akal Takht

Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh today cautioned the Congress government over the alleged move to install former PM Indira Gandhi’s statue in Ludhiana.

“The setting up of a statue of Indira Gandhi anywhere in Punjab will not be tolerated by the Sikhs. Any such move will vitiate peace in the state. The government needs to review the decision,” he said.

Akal Takht appealed to the Sikh community to commemorate November 1 as “shaheedi dihara” by observing one-minute prayer at 6 pm to pay tributes to scores of Sikhs who were killed in the riots post Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

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