WASHINGTON: Punjab Foundation, a US-based NRI body, on Thursday demanded that the security around the Golden Temple be handed over the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
Citing the kidnapping of a boy from the temple complex recently, Punjab Foundation chairman Joginder Singh, in a memo to Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, said there is a need “ to provide CISF security at Golden Temple for NRIs, foreigners and locals, due to the recent kidnapping of a youngster inside the Golden Temple and reports of corruption among the security staff of SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee).’’
Punjab Foundation, along with the Indian Oversees Congress and National India, welcomed the visiting Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, and Planning Commission deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The two cabinet ministers and Ahluwalia are in the US to pitch India to American businesses for investment and allay their fears about investing in India at a time when the growth rate is declining the Indian rupee sinking.
IOC President Vikram Bajwa, Gen Secretary Sunil Malhotra, Vice President Vijay Sinha, executive members Chakot Krishnan, George Abraham, Liaqat Ahmed, Biju Patel, Avinash Singhania, Karan Scindia, Ruby Goswami, Dr. Arun Gupta were among those who met the ministers and Ahluwalia.
Bajwa said, “If they had CISF cover (at the Golden Temple) in 1981, Operation Bluestar could have been avoided. But now it is the personal safety of devotees, as the SGPC cannot do it or handle it, and legal and other issues.’’
The request to the Indian home minister for a CISF cover for the Golden Temple came after Sushil Kumar Shinde recently announced that the government was mulling CISF cover for major religious places – temple, masjids and gurdwaras in India.