Pro-Khalistan and anti-government slogans were raised by a small group of radical Sikhs at the 32nd anniversary of the Indian Army's Operation Bluestar, which was observed at the premises of the Golden Temple on Monday, June 6.
According to the Indian Express, the programme was held amid tight security and no untoward incident was reported from within or outside the premises of the temple. More than 8,000 security personnel, including paramilitary forces, were deployed in Amritsar, while policemen in civil dress along with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Task Force kept a close watch on anyone who tried to break the law and order of the place.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) supporters led by its president and former MP Simranjit Singh Mann raised slogans of "Khalistan Zindabad" and "Punjab Sarkar Murdabad," the daily reported. He accused Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of interfering in the religious matters of Sikhs and the SGPC and also asked the apex body to reinstate Balbir Singh, the Sikh priest who denied the 'siropa' to Badal at the temple recently.
IANS reported that the slogans were raised after Gurbachan Singh, chief of Akal Takht Jathedar, addressed the Sikh community. He was quoted by the Indian Express as saying: "Sikh community all over the world will remember the unhealed wounds of Operation Bluestar."
People offered prayers at the temple to mark the anniversary, IANS reported.
Badal had appealed to everyone to observe the anniversary peacefully. This appeal comes after pro-Khalistan slogans were raised by radical Sikh groups during the programme for the last three-four years. Clashes have also taken place in the last two years.
Several hardliners were detained by the police as a preventive measure ahead of the event, the agency reported.
A bandh, called by radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa, was reportedly observed in Amritsar.