Operation Bluestar anniversary: Amritsar turns into fortress, SGPC appeals for peace | punjab | amritsar | Hindustan Times
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Operation Bluestar anniversary: Amritsar turns into fortress, SGPC appeals for peace

Hardline groups raise pro-Khalistan slogans glorifying militants

punjab Updated: Jun 05, 2018 21:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Dal Khalsa activists take out protest march on the eve of Operation Bluestar anniversary in Amritsar on Tuesday.
Dal Khalsa activists take out protest march on the eve of Operation Bluestar anniversary in Amritsar on Tuesday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)

On the eve of the 34th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, Amritsar turned into a fortress on Tuesday as several companies of paramilitary forces and the Punjab Police were deployed across the city to maintain law and order.

A heavy deployment has been in the walled city where the Golden Temple is situated with security forces taking no chance as sentiments usually run high on the occasion.

The security personnel were seen checking vehicles and enquiring the commuters about their movement.

Also, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal has made an appeal to the Sikh bodies to keep calm on the anniversary being observed at Akal Takht on Wednesday. Hoardings of his appeal were also displayed at various points in the city.

Sikh bodies take out marches

On the anniversary eve, members of Sikh hardline outfits such as the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD Amritsar), Dal Khalsa and the Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwala took out marches and raised pro-Khalistan slogans glorifying militants.

Carrying pro-Khalistan flags and placards, the members of these organisations raised slogans in support of Sikh militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, former All India Sikh Students Federation (AISS) president Amrik Singh and Maj Gen Shabeg Singh (retd) who hauled up inside the Golden Temple during the operation.

The Dal Khalsa started its march from Ranjit Avenue to Akal Takht under the title of “Genocide Remembrance Parade”.

During the joint march of the SAD (A)-Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwala from Gurdwara Santokh Sar Sahib to the Akal Takht, some banners were also seen glorying militants Sukhdev Singh Babbar and Jagtar Singh Hawara, a convict in the Beant Singh assassination case. Slogans of ‘Hindustan murdabad’ (down with India) were also raised.

While the procession taken out by the Dal Khalsa was led by its head Harpal Singh Cheema, the other procession was led by Damdami Taksal leader and former parallel jathedar Amrik Singh Ajnala. SAD (A) leaders Iman Singh Mann and Jarnail Singh Sakhira were also present in the procession.

Large hoardings carrying the image of Bhindranwale were seen at many places in the city and surrounding areas. These hoardings have been installed by the Damdami Taksal which was once headed by Bhindranwale, to appeal the people to attend the function being organised at the Taksal headquarters at Chowk Mehta, 40km from Amritsar.