OK with riots memorial if it does not bend law: CM

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday said the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) were within their rights to construct the proposed 1984 anti-Sikh riots memorial as long as it did not violate building by-laws. The Delhi government has also asked the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to keep the Home Ministry informed of all developments connected to the issue.

Dikshit's statements come two days after the NDMC issued a notice to the DSGMC, cautioning them against building any illegal structure within the Rakabganj Gurdwara. The DSGMC last week had announced that the foundation stone to the memorial would be laid on June 12 along with a host of NDA leaders including BJP president Rajnath Singh, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders from Punjab.

According to Dikshit, the DSGMC had submitted a proposed design of the memorial to the NDMC on Friday. "They have submitted one of the designs for the memorial, which, in my opinion, is within their rights to construct. The building by-laws do not allow the construction of any building within the premises. If the final memorial is not a building then there should not be a problem," Dikshit told Newsline.

Meanwhile, after a meeting of the 11-member committee constituted to build the memorial, DSGMC said there would be no change in the schedule for the foundation laying ceremony.

DSGMC President Manjit Singh said, "The Delhi government or any other authority in Delhi has no right to raise objections to our peaceful endeavour. We will go ahead with our plan and the government should not interfere."

The CM said maintaining "peace and harmony" was the Delhi government's top priority. "I have informed the NDMC of my government's policy to maintain peace and harmony. We should do what we can to resolve this issue peacefully," Dikshit said.

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