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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Amritsar turns into fortress ahead of Bluestar anniversary

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

india Updated: Jun 06, 2019 07:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Punjab police Swat team stand guard on the eve of the 35th Operation Blue Star Anniversary outside Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday.
Punjab police Swat team stand guard on the eve of the 35th Operation Blue Star Anniversary outside Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)
         

Amritsar turned into a fortress on Wednesday with security being beefed up in the city on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Operation Bluestar to prevent any untoward incident.

Operation Bluestar was a military action ordered by then PM Indira Gandhi to flush out Sikh militants holed up in Harmandir Sahib Complex [Golden Temple] in Amritsar. The operation that was carried out between June 1 and June 8, 1984 claimed several lives and left the shrine damaged.

Around 5,000 police and six companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the city amid apprehensions that various separatist Sikh outfits may create trouble on Thursday at the Golden Temple complex.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Gobind Singh Longowal sought cooperation of the various Sikh organisations and devotees to observe the anniversary peacefully.

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In 2014, a clash between radical Sikh activists and the task force of the SGPC had taken place in which several people were injured in the Golden Temple complex. In view of a shutdown call given by the Dal Khalsa, a separatist outfit, in Amritsar on Thursday, the police have made security arrangements. CCTV cameras have been installed at vulnerable points to keep an eye on potential trouble makers.

“We have deployed adequate security in the city and no one will be allowed to disrupt peace,” said Amritsar commissioner of police SS Srivastva said.

“I along with around 600 cops will remain present on the premises of the Golden Temple,” said additional deputy commissioner of police Jagjit Singh Walia.

Flag marches were also conducted by the police, along with the paramilitary forces, at several places. The police also busted a few terror modules which allegedly operated at the behest of foreign handlers to cause communal disturbances.

Meanwhile, the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, said the Centre should apologise for the Operation Bluestar. “A resolution should be passed in Parliament acknowledging that what the then government had done in 1984 was a mistake,” said the jathedar [leader of the takht] on Wednesday.