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Six companies of central forces to keep vigil in Amritsar on Operation Blue Star anniversary

The Amritsar commissionerate police have called six companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law and order.

chandigarh Updated: May 31, 2019 07:53 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Operation Blue Star anniversary,Amritsar,vigil in Amritsar
Punjab police personnel are put on patrol outside the Golden Temple ahead of the 35th anniversary of Operation Blue Star in Amritsar on Wednesday.(HT File Photo)

As several Sikh bodies, including separatist outfits, have started preparations for observing the 35th anniversary of the Operation Bluestar on June 6, authorities are taking all security measures to turn the holy city into a fortress.

The Amritsar commissionerate police have called six companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the city.

Besides, 5,000 cops from Amritsar and the neighbouring districts of Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot are also being deployed here.

The movement of the cops around the Golden Temple and the bazaars leading to it has already been intensified.

“We have called three companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and three of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). They are expected to arrive in the city on Friday,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-City 1) Jagjit Singh Walia.

He said, “As precautionary measures, eight companies of Anti-Riot police, six companies of Armed Special Police (ASP) and four companies of Punjab Commandos Police (PCP) have already started patrolling in the city.” He added, “Besides, 5000 cops of Amritsar and its neighbouring districts are being deployed here to maintain law and order on June 6 and the preceding days.”

On the anniversary of Operation Bluestar In 2014, a clash between radical Sikh activists and the task force of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had taken place in which several people were injured in the Golden Temple complex.

Pro-Khalistan groups like the Dal Khalsa and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Simranjit Singh Mann will hold ‘genocide remembrance marches’ across the city on the eve of the anniversary.

The Dal Khalsa has also given a call for ‘Amritsar bandh’ on June 6 to mark the anniversary.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh told HT that they have given a call for complete shutdown in the city to protest against the “killing of hundreds of innocent people” during the army attack on the Golden Temple.

He said they would hold a ‘genocide remembrance parade’ in the streets of Amritsar on June 5.

“The march will start from Ranjit Avenue gurdwara and culminate at Akal Takht,” he said.

All India Sikh Student Federation (AISSF) patron Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad said, “This time we are not holding a march in the city, but will join the event being organised at the Akal Takht Sahib to pay homage to those killed during the Operation Bluestar on June 6.”

The SGPC task force is also gearing up to tackle any eventuality. SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal has instructed the force to increase the security inside and outside the Golden Temple.

An ‘akhand path’ will begin at the Akal Takht on June 4 and its bhog ceremony will be held on June 6.

First Published: May 30, 2019 11:51 IST