Published By: Sumedha Kirti
Last Updated: June 06, 2023, 13:10 IST
Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised on the Golden Temple premises Tuesday by supporters and activists of radical Sikh outfits on the 39th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.
The slogans of ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ were also raised by activists of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by MP Simranjit Singh Mann and his associate former MP Dhian Singh Mand at the Akal Takht. Mann was also present on the spot.
Radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa’s activists were seen holding placards bearing portraits of slain militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhidnrawale and raising pro-Khalistan slogans. Hundreds of Sikh youths, led by the Dal Khalsa, were carrying Khalistani flags and photographs of damaged Akal Takht.
The entire marbled periphery of Golden Temple near Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, echoed with pro-Khalistan slogans. Elaborate security arrangements were in place in Amritsar to ensure that the event passed off peacefully.
Jathedar of Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh, in his message to the Sikh community, said the need of the hour was Sikh preachers and scholars should visit villages to promote Sikhism to apprise the youth with rich Sikh tenets and Sikh history in order the unite them under the banner of Akal Takht. He spoke about the issue of drug menace which has afflicted many youths.
He alleged that governments would never help the Sikh community to make them strong. He said Sikhs were never scared and panicked even after the incidents that happened in 1984.
“Rather all such incidents had made the Sikh community stronger and Sikhs would continue their struggle to get justice and would never be scared to stand with the truth,” he said. The Jathedar alleged that conspiracies were being hatched to weaken the Sikh community socially, economically and politically.
Now the time has come for the community to get united, he said. He said the Sikh community did not have any positive hope from successive governments as they were attempting to take over Sikh religious institutions and also playing a major role in dividing the community by using all unfair means.
On this occasion, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex Sikh religious body, displayed the bullet-ridden holy ‘saroop’ (volume) of the Guru Granth Sahib. The saroop, which was installed in the sanctum sanctorum at that time, was hit by a bullet during the army action in 1984.
The Operation Bluestar was a military operation carried out in 1984 to flush out militants from the Golden Temple.
Security in Amritsar on Operation Bluestar Anniversary
Security was stepped up in Punjab’s Amritsar ahead of the 39th anniversary of Operation Bluestar. Special Director General of Police Arpit Shukla (law and order) Sunday reviewed security arrangements in the city on Sunday.
Operation Bluestar was the Army operation which was carried out in June 1984 to flush out the militants from the Golden Temple. “Strict security measures are in place with increased patrols by local police and paramilitary forces in inner and outer areas,” said Shukla.
Police said 68 checkpoints have been set up for round-the-clock surveillance while patrolling teams have been deployed in congested areas of the city.
Special DGP Shukla through media asked people not to believe any rumours on social media and warned of strict action if anyone tries to spread any.
Replying to a question on security arrangements in Amritsar, Shukla said four companies of CAPF (central armed police forces) have been deployed in the district, in addition to 3,000 Punjab police personnel.
The senior police officer said not only in Amritsar, security has been beefed up all over Punjab. Eleven companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state, in addition to police force mobilisation, he said.
Shukla said on June 6, sizable gathering can be expected at the Golden Temple and the Akal Takht where Operation Bluestar anniversary will be observed. He said all sensitive and hypersensitive points in the city have been covered by police to ensure peace at religious congregations in the Golden Temple on June 6.
To a question on a ‘bandh’ call given by radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa on June 6, Shukla said it was the prerogative of shopkeepers and business establishments as nobody will force them to shut their shops.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)