AMRITSAR: Giani Sahib Singh, Chief Priest (Head Granthi) of the Golden Temple was seriously wounded in a shootout. His bodyguard was killed on the spot. Giani Sahib Singh was hit in the back. He was immediately removed to the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital. The doctors operated upon him for removing the bullet.

Giani Sahib Singh and Jathedar Kirpal Singh were accused of giving false and misleading statements after the operation Bluestar under pressure from the Indian Army. They were charged with betraying the trust put in them by the Panth and violating the high traditions associated with their offices.

Jathedar Kirpal Singh was seriously wounded in a shootout near Ludhiana. He later recovered and resumed his duties as Jathedar Akal Takht.

AISSF has been demanding the removal of both Jathedar Kirpal Singh and Giani Sahib Singh.

While on the way to Golden Temple Giani Sahib Singh said that he was target No. 1 after the assassination of Sant Harchand Singh Longowal. He, however, did not name his assailants. Official circles claim that three young men who were already present in the Akal Takht fired at the Giani and were later seen running towards the office of the United Akali Dal. They opened fire at about 5 am. when Giani Sahib Singh had gone to Akali Takht for the daily routine of ceremoniously bringing Guru Granth Sahib. There was a large gathering outside in view of the Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth celebrations.

Reacting to the shooting S..G.P.C. President said that if Sikhs want to stop police entry into the Golden Temple, they will have to refrain from using violence inside the Temple. S. Surjit Singh Barnala, Chief Minister Punjab, called an emergent meeting of the cabinet to discuss the situation arising out of the shooting incident.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 29, 1985