CHANDIGARH: The Workers of All India Sikh Students Federation dismantled the screened marble parapet of Akal Takht on the evening of October 31. The fifteen minute operation of dismantling was reportedly undertaken to protest against the delay in implementing the S.G.P.C decision to dismantle the Govt. constructed Akal Takht and to reconstruct it in accordance with Sikh traditions. The acting President of AISSF’s Harjinder Singh Kahlon told reporters that no steps were being taken to start construction of the Dharam Parchar building and no date was being announced for laying down its foundation stone.

Giani Kirpal Singh, Jathedar Akal Takht and Bhai Sahib Singh, Chief Priest Golden Temple has so far not given their reaction to the dismantling of the portion of Akal Takht. The employees of the S.G.P.C Sewadars and Gantries Priests, all ran away when AISSP workers started their operation. The Sikh youth had come armed with hammers and other necessary supplements and they accomplished their task very expeditiously.

Shopkeepers in the vicinity of the Golden Temple dropped their shutters as Sikh youths marched towards Akal Takht shouting slogans of, “Long Live Khalistan” and ‘Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale Zindabad.”

Heavily deployed security forces all around the Temple complex immediately took up positions on the adjoining buildings but restrained from taking any precipitator action. Federation workers fired some warning shots also to keep security forces out of the complex, The Federation workers had assembled to participate in the Bhog ceremony on the occasion of Ist death anniversary of S. Beant Singh the alleged assassin of Indira Gandhi. The Federation leaders did not permit any other leader of United Akali Dal to address the workers except Baba Joginder Singh, Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Gen. Narinder Singh. AISSF leaders made it clear that they would not allow exploitation of their power by any political heavy weight, whosoever he may be. They reportedly claimed that they represented the voice of the Sikhs and they would not subordinate that voice to any personality or party. Jathedar Talwandi assured the AISSF leaders that he would follow the program given by the AISSF.

The operation dismantling was conducted under the leadership of Harjinder Singh Kahlon and Bibi Bimila Kaur Khalsa.

Article extracted from this publication >> November 11, 1988