Several supporters of the Khalistan movement shouted pro-Khalistani slogans at Amritsar’s Golden temple on Monday, the 38th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, reported PTI. They also carried posters of Jarnail Bhindranwale, a militant leader.
The Khalistan movement is a separatist campaign aimed at creating a country for Sikhs by seceding from Punjab. Bhindranwale, who led a group of militants, had occupied the Golden Temple complex in 1982.
Two years later, the Indian Army carried out Operation Blue Star to remove Bhindranwale and other militants from the shrine. Bhindranwale was killed in the operation.
On Monday, demonstrators wore t-shirts with pictures of Bhindranwale and carried placards with “Khalistan Zindabad” written on them.
Security arrangements were made to avoid any law and order situation.
The head of the Akal Takht, the highest Sikh temporal seat, said that the community will always remember the wounds of Operation Blue Star.
“The Army action was comparable to a war between two nations,” he added. “It was like a country attacking another nation.”
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the top religious body of the Sikhs, displayed the bullet-ridden copy of the Guru Granth Sahib. The religious text, which was kept in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple when Operation Blue Star was conducted, was hit by several bullets during the military action.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann, who attended the event, demanded justice for the family of singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala.
The singer was shot dead in the Punjab’s Mansa district on May 29. He was among the 424 persons whose security detail was temporarily downgraded a day before his killing.
On May 30, Moose Wala’s father Balkar Singh Sidhu had demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Investigation Agency into the murder. He demanded that officers who passed the order for downgrading his son’s security detail should be held accountable.
Later in the day, the Punjab government had announced that it would set up an inquiry commission under a sitting High Court judge to look into the killing. The chief minister’s office had said that the state government will ensure full cooperation with the inquiry commission.