The move to set up a memorial for those killed during Operation Bluestar in the Golden Temple complex has set alarm bells ringing as the Union home ministry fears that it could resurrect militancy in Punjab.
Official sources said the ministry was keenly watching the developments in Punjab where bricks for the memorial were laid by the five Sikh head priests along with Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh and SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar on the 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar on June 6.
"It is a very disturbing development as the occasion was marked with separatist and anti-India slogans," a senior official said.
The Centre is particularly worried that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI has been constantly trying to revive militancy in Punjab with the help of banned Babbar Khalsa International.
For the last five years, Pakistani diplomats and ISI officers have been meeting separatist Sikh leaders regularly in Europe and America and encouraging and helping them to revive militancy in Punjab, the sources said.
The home ministry is also watching the move of radical Sikh groups Damdami Taksal and Dal Khalsa which are holding meetings across Punjab and honouring family members of 220 "martyrs" killed on June 6, 1984."So far we are keenly watching. If things go out of hands, we will have to act," the officer said.
Operation Bluestar was launched by the army on June 6 in 1984 to flush out holed-up Sikh militants led by their leader Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, who was killed along with his associates in the Golden Temple.