Brar attack not revival of Sikh militancy, says Shinde

Refusing to call the attack on Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar and other incidents as revival of Sikh  militancy, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Wednesday declined to interfere in the construction of a memorial within the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar for militants killed during Operation Blue Star.

Reiterating that those who were involved in the construction of the memorial should introspect, Shinde said: “We have received information on the memorial. I have already said while visiting Attari (India-Pakistan border checkpost near Amritsar) last week that this country has witnessed so much of financial loss due to militancy in the state. Everyone has to do some introspection on this.”

Giving a monthly report on the activities of his ministry, Shinde said under the
Constitution, the Centre cannot interfere in religious activities, as it is a matter of their rights. “That is why I asked them to introspect,” he observed.

Asked whether the attack on Brar in London indicated revival of militancy, the minister said: “No such new view has been taken on their security.” 

Brar had led the Operation Blue Star to flush out Sikh militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984.

The minister stated that the Centre was monitoring the situation and agreed that there were instances of militant activity reported in the recent months, both within the country and abroad. “It cannot be called as revival of militancy.”

Responding to a question if the Centre has no objection to the construction of the memorial, the Home Minister said “it is not a question of objection or no objection. It is a matter of rights given to the organisations by the Constitution.”

The minister disclosed that he would visit Jammu and Kashmir on October 13 and 14 to take stock of the attempts of infiltration from across the border and prevailing security situation.

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