Golden Temple violence: Day after clash, baffled cops grill arrested youths
The clash between Sikh youths and members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Commiittee task force inside the Golden Temple on Operation Bluestar's anniversary has left the cops baffled.punjab Updated: Jun 08, 2015 09:00 IST
The clash between Sikh youths and members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Commiittee task force inside the Golden Temple on Operation Bluestar's anniversary has left the cops baffled.
Adding to the police worry is the fact that all 31 youngsters (mostly in their early 20s), who have been arrested for violence, don't belong to any radical group, but they seem to be 'swayed by the Khalistan ideology'.
"Despite being born after 1984, these youths chose to attend the Operation Bluestar function and raised separatist slogans that were at one time common when militants controlled the shrine. It's a matter of concern," said a police officer.
Taking no chances, police are questioning each of these youngsters to know about their whereabouts and affiliates, if any.
"We are questioning them and have even informed their parents", deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Parampal Singh told HT on Sunday.
"We want to know everything about these youths. Who is backing them? Whether they are affiliated to any militant group or not?" said a police officer.
One of the arrested youths has been identified as 31-year old Deepinder Singh, who hails from Derby in England. The identity of the remaining youths is yet to be ascertained. The police have informed his parents.
The youths have been booked under section 107/151 (creating disturbance) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
While those who had witnessed the June '84 army operation attended the function at the Akal Takht and then disappeared in the crowd, these youths kept raising slogans even after the function was over, said police.
So far, no political party or group has come forward to inquire about the arrested youths. A senior SGPC official, who is believed to have witnessed almost all Operation Bluestar anniversary functions, said: "All these faces were new to me. I have not seen them in the past ".
Preliminary investigations reveal that most of these youths were not known to each other. "While some came to Amritsar all alone, others arrived in groups of 4-5 from different parts of Punjab," said police sources.
The probe has also revealed that messages on social media sites played a vital role in 'motivating' these youths to come to Amritsar. Their attire also drew the attention of the police. Most of these youths were dressed in neat long blue robes and they had tied their turbans like 'nihangs'. Some of these youths are even baptised and belong to well-off families, said police.
This is for the second successive year that the Golden Temple has witnessed violence inside the shrine on Operation Bluestar anniversary.