Punjab: Pro-Khalistan slogans raised on Operation Bluestar anniversary

Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised by supporters and activists of radical Sikh outfits here on the 40th anniversary of Operation Bluestar on Thursday.
Punjab: Pro-Khalistan slogans raised on Operation Bluestar anniversary
Punjab: Pro-Khalistan slogans raised on Operation Bluestar anniversary

Amritsar |Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised by supporters and activists of radical Sikh outfits here on the 40th anniversary of Operation Bluestar on Thursday.

The slogans were raised by activists of various outfits, including the Simranjit Singh Mann-led Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), and former MP Dhian Singh Mand at the Akal Takht – the highest temporal seat of Sikhs. Mann, who recently lost the Lok Sabha poll from the Sangrur seat, was also present.

Led by the radical outfit Dal Khalsa, some Sikh youths were carrying Khalistani flags and photographs of a damaged Akal Takht – the highest temporal seat of Sikhs.

Dal Khalsa activists were seen carrying placards bearing portraits of slain militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was killed in Canada last year.

The entire marbled periphery of the Golden Temple, the holiest Sikh shrine, near the Akal Takht echoed with pro-Khalistan slogans.

Some Sikh youths carried banners and placards reading 'Khalistan Zindabad'.

Elaborate security arrangements were put in place in Amritsar to ensure that the event passed off peacefully.

In his message to the Sikh community, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh said two Sikhs who won the Lok Sabha elections as Independents should raise their voice in Parliament for the release of 'Bandhi Singhs' (Sikh prisoners who have completed their jail terms).

Singh was referring to radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh and Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, the son of former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassin Beant Singh.

While Amritpal Singh, the chief of the 'Waris Punjab De' outfit who is currently lodged in Assam's Dibrugarh jail under the National Security Act, won the Khadoor Singh Lok Sabha seat, Khalsa won the Faridkot seat.

Giani Raghbir Singh further said the need of the hour was that Sikh preachers and scholars visit villages to promote Sikhism to apprise the youth of rich Sikh tenets and history to unite them under the banner of the Akal Takht.

On the occasion, the Jathedar declared that Bhindranwale and his supporters who were killed during Operation Bluestar in 1984 were “martyrs” and honoured their families at the Akal Takht.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex Sikh religious body, displayed the bullet-riddled holy 'saroop' (volume) of the Guru Granth Sahib.

The 'saroop', which was installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple at that time, was hit by a bullet during the Army operation in 1984.

Operation Bluestar was carried out by the Army in June 1984 to flush out armed militants from the Golden Temple.

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