Tight security in Punjab on 32nd anniversary

Tight security in Punjab on 32nd anniversary of Operation Blue Star

Chandigarh (PTI): Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place at Amritsar and several parts of the state, even as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal exhorted people to exercise restraint and observe the 32nd anniversary of Operation Blue Star peacefully.

“We have made sufficient deployment of security forces in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala,” a senior Punjab police official told PTI.

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As many as 15 Companies of paramilitary forces including ITBP, CRPF, RAF, besides police personnel in strength, have been deployed.

“Six Companies of paramilitary forces have been placed at Amritsar while rest will be deployed in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala,” he said.

As part of a statewide police crackdown on radical Sikhs, police has already rounded up activists of SAD (Amritsar) and Damdami Taksal from several places to avoid any trouble in the wake of 32nd anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Several activists have also gone underground in the wake of the preventive arrests, official sources said.

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made in Amritsar to thwart any attempt by miscreants to disturb law and order.

“We will not allow anyone to disturb peace and harmony in the city,” Amritsar Police Commissioner, A S Chahal said.

While a few radical Sikh organisations have given a call for a shut down in Amritsar, Chahal said nobody will be allowed to close shops forcefully.

“We will not allow anyone to force shopkeepers to shut down their shops and brandish swords,” he said.

Over 8,000 security personnel including paramilitary forces have been deployed in Amritsar, Chahal said, adding that police will keep an eye on people to thwart any attempt by miscreants to create disturbance.

Security personnel have also been deployed around the Golden Temple in Amritsar, he said.

“CCTVs have been installed at key locations for surveillance purposes,” Chahal said.

“Devotees coming to Golden Temple will not face any problem,” he assured.He also said Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has deployed its task force inside the Golden Temple and will remain on alert.

On June 6 last year, five youths were injured in a clash inside the Golden Temple when people had gathered there to mark the anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Operation Bluestar anniversary: prayers offered at Golden Temple

Amritsar, June 6 (IANS) Prayers were offered at the Golden Temple complex on Monday morning as the 32nd anniversary of Indian Army’s ‘Operation Bluestar’ passed off peacefully.

Except for a few pro-Khalistan and anti-government slogans by a small group of Sikh hardliners, the event passed off peacefully in front of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion located inside the temple complex.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) task force members and police personnel in plainclothes kept a close watch on the hardliners trying to hijack the ceremony.

The task force members did not allow the hardliners to take control of the function.

Akal Takht Jathedar (chief) Gurbachan Singh read out his address to the Sikh community.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said scores of people attended the ceremony.

Security agencies were on alert in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, ahead of the Bluestar anniversary.

Paramilitary forces and Punjab Police personnel kept a close watch in different parts of the city, especially around the Golden Temple complex.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had appealed to all sections to exercise restraint and observe the anniversary peacefully.

The appeal came due to apprehension of clashes between Sikh hardliners and moderates.

In the last three-four years, pro-Khalistan slogans have been raised by hardliners during the anniversary function. Clashes also took place in the last two years.

The Punjab Police detained several radical Sikh leaders ahead of the anniversary as a preventive measure.

Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa has called for an “Amritsar Bandh” on Monday.

Several people, including security personnel, were killed in ‘Operation Bluestar’, the Army’s action on Amritsar’s Golden Temple complex in June 1984 to flush out armed extremists led by separatist Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

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