“we will reclaim the Gurudwara, even if it means sacrificing our lives.”

HARIDWAR: All India Sikh Conference (Babbar) president Guru Charan Singh Babbar, in a letter to the Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat, threatened that his community would assemble in large numbers at Har-ki-Paudi on April 14, to forcibly reclaim the land on which the Gurudwara Sri Gyan Godadi Saheb stood.

The warning was issued in a letter addressed to chief minister Harish Rawat on April 4. April 14 is also the Baisakhi bathing day, when a large number of devout Hindus will take a holy dip in the Ganga.

In the letter, Guru Charan Singh Babbar had requested the state government to free the gurudwara land, illegally occupied during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
The government was instructed to act in the matter by Baisakhi this year (April 14).

The letter warned that in case the state administration failed to free the land that belonged to the gurudwara of illegal occupants, “we will reclaim the Gurudwara, even if it means sacrificing our lives.”

Babbar told TOI that Sikhs had been agitating for the gurudwara’s restoration to the community for the last four years. It was particularly dear to them, as it had been built about 450 years ago to commemorate Guru Nanak Saheb’s long stay at Har-ki-Paudi during a visit to Haridwar.

Taking advantage of the anti-Sikh sentiments in the aftermath of then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, “some criminals demolished the Gurudwara and illegally occupied the place,” Babbar remarked.

The site has been turned into a Bharat Scouts and Guides office, he said. While the Sikhs insist that the site be handed back to rebuild gurudwara, the administration proposed that the community accept another site for building a gurudwara. That proposal was not acceptable to the Sikh Conference, Babar said.

Originally Published by TOI

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