The Akalis then called upon all political parties and religious leaders to extend their support in getting the memorial built and to ensure that their grievances were addressed

Showing the contents of a letter written by South Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Savita Gupta to Commissioner Manish Gupta, the Delhi unit of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) on Sunday strongly opposed the alleged interference of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the naming of a Punjabi Bagh park as “1984 Sikh Memorial Park”.

In her letter to the Commissioner on Saturday, Ms. Gupta had written that the Naming and Renaming Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had through a regulation on September 13, 2010, passed the naming of the park opposite Gurdwara Tikana Sahib as “1984 Sikh Memorial Park”.

She said consequently the proposal was also cleared by Director (Horticulture) and was approved by the Mayor. The date for formal function was then suggested by the area Councillor and the requisite formalities pertaining to printing of invitation cards and foundation stone were completed by the SDMC authorities.

But then, the Mayor said, “suddenly new developments cropped up and you intimated me that the CM wants to get this function cancelled. I fail to understand how can the CM intervene in the internal matters of the SDMC. Needless to mention that the naming and renaming of any street or park is in the sole purview of the MCD, and the CM or the Delhi Government has nothing to do in this.”

Terming the cancellation of the event, that was to be attended by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal, was “totally unwarranted”, the Mayor wrote that “directions should be passed to Director (Horticulture) and other officials to ensure that the function is held on the prescribed date and time which was already approved by her without any hitch”.

However, as the programme scheduled for today, was cancelled, the SAD Delhi unit president Manjit Singh G.K.; national general secretary Avtar Singh Hit; national vice president Onkar Singh Thapar; secretary general Kuldip Singh Bhogal and others said they were “badly anguished and pained due to the Delhi Chief Minister’s decision of stalling and scuttling the long awaited setting up of a memorial for the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots victims.”

“While intervening blatantly into the constitutional and autonomous rights of the Municipal Corporation, the Chief Minister has not only transgressed her authority but committed an unconstitutional act in eroding the rights of the Municipal Corporation,” the Akali leaders charged.

They alleged that this was not the first time that the Congress has acted against the interests of the Sikhs. The Akalis alleged that while it was during Congress rule at the Centre that thousands of innocent Sikhs were murdered in November 1984; a number of enquiry commissions in their neutral findings had stated that some Congress leaders were at the forefront of the killer crowds; and it was during the Congress rule that Sri Akal Takhat Sahib and the Golden Temple were attacked and damaged in 1984.

The Akalis then called upon all political parties and religious leaders to extend their support in getting the memorial built and to ensure that their grievances were addressed.

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