Chandigarh, March 27 — Mr. Randhir Singh Cheema, a senior Akali Dal (Talwandi) leader on Wednesday said he suspected that the plan for the Army action in the Golden Temple complex was formulated at secret meetings between Mr. Gurcharan Singh Tohra, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee and the Punjab Government on May 26 and May 29 last year.
His suspicion arose from the fact that he had been kept out of these meetings though he was an invitee to all previous secret meetings between the Government and the Akalis, Mr. Cheema told a press conference here.
He said Mr. Tohra had to explain what he had been doing at the residence of the then Punjab Governor, Mr. B.D. Pande, for four hours on May 29. He suspected that Mr. Tohra had talked to Indira Gandhi on hot line that day.
Mr. Cheema contested the statement of the Akali Dal president Mr. Har chand Singh Longowal,
That he was taken prisoner in the SGPC office at Amritsar during Operation Blue Star and did not surrender to the Army. He distributed at the news conference a “statement” of five Sikh high priests which referred to the ‘“‘atam Samarpan” (surrender) by Mr. Longowal. The ‘“‘statement’’ contains the 14 demands of the high priests from the Government after the Army action. The demand number five, according to the “‘statement’’ reads, “‘Those who had peacefully surrendered along with Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, members of the SGPC and innocent persons rendering service in the ‘“‘parkarma”’ (of the Golden Temple) should be released.”
Mr. Cheema claimed that the ‘‘confidential document”’ was procured through the efforts of “our men” in the SGPC.
He said the “surrender” of Mr. Longowal was contrary to the traditions of the Panth which ordained the Sikhs to fight against “‘tyranny.”
Article extracted from this publication >> April 12, 1985