Tight security in place for Bluestar anniversary

  • Aseem Bassi and Harkirat Singh, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2015 08:57 IST

Ahead of the Operation Bluestar anniversary, which had witnessed violent clashes inside the shrine last year, the city has started witnessing a heavy deployment of police.

Besides around 1,200 cops from the Amritsar police commissionerate, around 1,000 cops have started arriving from other districts. The cops have been deployed in big numbers near Hall Gate and the Golden Temple.

The Amritsar police, which have held meetings with SGPC officials, are keeping a close tab in and around the city. The police are alert keeping in mind last year's clash that had left eight people injured. The vigil has also been enhanced as the Dal Khalsa has given an Amritsar bandh call for June 6.

Police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh said, "We have made all arrangements to ensure that no disturbance takes place in the city. Around 2,000 cops will be deployed and the security will be stepped up on June 5 and 6."

Aulakh said deputy commissioner of police Parampal Singh had already held a meeting with the SGPC. He said they would check hotels and vehicles and round up suspected persons.

Both the police commissioner and the DCP held a meeting with police officials on Tuesday evening and briefed them about the situation.

Commenting on the bandh call given by the Dal Khalsa, Aulakh said, "We will not allow anyone to force traders to close shops. There will be no compromise with the law and order and anyone disrupting peace will face action."

SGPC on alert

With the 'akhand paath' in memory of those who died during the June 1984 operation commencing at the Akal Takht on Thursday, the SGPC has put all its employees on alert. The bhog of the akhand paath will be held on June 6, which is observed by the SGPC every year as the genocide day.

While the SGPC will be in charge of the security inside the shrine, the cops will keep a vigil outside. While firearms cannot be carried inside the shrine, the issue of carrying (long) swords came up during the meeting between the police and the SGPC. The police favoured the SGPC banning the carrying of swords into the shrine on June 6. However, the SGPC said it was not possible as the Akal Takht jathedar and even some of the senior granthis carried swords.

Some of the members of the task force are also armed with swords.

The SGPC felt the police could stop any suspicious-looking person with a sword from entering the shrine. As per the security arrangements, the task force will be stationed in strength at the Akal Takht and in the 'parikrama' of the shrine.
The presence of policemen in civil clothes inside the shrine will also be increased.

Only jathedar to address gathering

The SGPC has made it clear that after the bhog ceremony, only the Akal Takht jathedar will read out his message to the community. No one else will be allowed to speak over the public address system.

The SGPC has also banned the carrying of portable PA systems into the shrine on the day.

Meanwhile, Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh has appealed to all sections of the community to maintain peace on the solemn occasion.

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