Khalistan slogans reverberate inside Golden temple on Op Bluestar anniversary

Khalistan slogans reverberate inside Golden temple on Op Bluestar anniversary
Pro-Khalistan slogans reverberated inside the revered Golden Temple in Amritsar on Tuesday as scores of Khalistani sympathisers and radicals took centre stage at the 33 rd anniversary of Operation Bluestar today.

Several swords wielding Sikhs shouted “Khalistan Zindabad” slogans just when Jathedar (head priest) Giani Gurbachan Singh of the Akal Takht- the highest temporal seat of Sikhism- attempted to address the Sikh community. The heavy Khalistan sloganeering disrupted the event organised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC)- the authority managing majority of Sikh shrines in the country.

The address by the head priest was interrupted after which he went inside to convey his feelings on the day. The day is observed against the 1984 operation Bluestar conducted by the Army to flush out militants who had holed up inside the Golden Temple. Giani Gurbachan Singh today termed slain Khalistan ideologue Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who was killed in the military operation as a “mahanshaheed” (great martyr).

Self-styled parallel head priests appointed during a “Sarbat Khalsa” (congregation of Sikhs) held some time ago were also present on the occasion. They refused to accept the authority of the incumbent head priest of the Akal Tahkt Giani Gurbachan Singh saying that he should not have addressed the community on this day. Members of the SAD (Amritsar) led by former IPS officer Simranjit Singh Mann were also conspicuous. Call for bandh in Amritsar city by radical organisation Dal Khalsa was partially successful.

Security apparatus was maximised in and around the area today in the apprehension of disruption in law and order. Intelligence inputs had indicated threat this time around. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) too has issued an alter ahead of the day. Additional seven companies of para military forces were deployed in sensitive areas to avoid any untoward incident. The anniversary in the past saw violent clashes between SGPC task force and sword and cane-wielding Sikhs owing allegiance to radical outfits. Eight persons were injured in the clashes two years ago.

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