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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

No ‘long’ swords at Bluestar anniversary in future: SGPC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, June 24, 2014
First Published: 22:54 IST(24/6/2014) | Last Updated: 22:58 IST(24/6/2014)
Following the June 6 incident wherein swords were used in a clash inside the Golden Temple during a function to mark the anniversary of Operation Bluestar, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided that swords with length beyond three feet would not be allowed at the Akal Takht from the next year during the function. This was announced by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar here on Tuesday.

Operation Bluestar was the army operation in 1984 that was carried out to flush out militants from the shrine but also ended in civilian casualties and damage to the buildings. At this year’s function, there was a violent clash between members of radical groups and the security taskforce of the SGPC that left 12 persons injured.

Makkar further said that after seeing the clash that led to injuries to many persons, “We are also working on strengthening the security. Certain measures will be taken to avert such clashes in future.” The SGPC has already formed a five-member committee to review the incident; its report is awaited.


Haryana committee issue: Makkar to meet Rajnath

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar would meet union home minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday for intervention against a demand for separate gurdwara management body for Haryana. The issue has been contentious for long, and recently Amritsar MP and senior Congress leader Capt Amarinder Singh had also backed a separate body. The SGPC is controlled by Punjab’s ruling Akali Dal.

“Congress has always intervened in Sikh issues. Now, as the elections are around the corner in Haryana, CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda is using some people to raise the demand. It is just an election stunt,” Makkar said, adding, “I will meet the union home minister on Wednesday and request him to intervene.” He said the Sikhs of Haryana “understand the motive of Hooda and his men”, and that “nobody will be allowed to weaken the SGPC”.

Meanwhile, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh also criticised the Haryana government over the matter.
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