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'Militancy victims deserve memorial in Punjab'

Former Punjab minister and BJP leader Lakshmi Kanta Chawla on Monday stoked a controversy after she demanded a memorial for militancy victims from Hindu community in the state.

The BJP firebrand leader, in a letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and State BJP president Ashwani Kumar, said that the innocent people who were assassinated had a great role in bringing peace and tranquility in Punjab, hence they deserve recognition.

Chawla's demand comes a day after the work to construct a memorial for those killed during the Operation Blue Star commenced in the Golden Temple complex.

Recalling the incident of mass killing of Hindus, Chawla said many bus passengers were shot dead by terrorists in 1983 when they were identified as Hindus at Dhilwan town near Jalandhar district.

She said the Punjab government should raise the memorial for those who were killed during the indiscriminate firing at Dhilwan and the names of all the victims be engraved on it.

The BJP leader claimed that the people of Punjab would extend full moral and financial support to the government for constructing the memorial. Chawla also demanded that all the innocent people who were killed during the turmoil period should be declared martyrs.
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