Pro-Khalistan slogans were chanted within the Golden Temple’s premises on Tuesday, the 33rd anniversary of Operation Blue Star, ANI reported. The pro-Khalistani groups are part of a movement to create an independent Sikh state. Meanwhile, radical Sikh group, Dal Khalsa, called for a bandh to be observed on the anniversary.
Officials said 15 companies of paramilitary forces including the Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Rapid Action Force have been deployed across Punjab.
Shiroman Akali Dal (Amritsar) supporters demanded that the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat for Sikhs, Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, be replaced. Giani Gurbachan Singh, however, continued his address to the devotees at the site amid the protest. “The Sikh community across the world will remember the unhealed wounds of Operation Blue Star,” he said.
Sikh group, Sarbat Khalsa, appointed a “parallel” Jathedar Dhian Singh Mann as part of their protest against Giani Gurbachan Singh, PTI reported. Mann blamed former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for hindering the work of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and interfering in religious matters, PTI reported.
Mann also accused Giani Gurbachan Singh of hurting the sentiments of Sikh followers by initially accepting the apology offered by Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. In September 2015, Giani Gurbachan Singh had accepted the self-styled spiritual leader’s apology for dressing like Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh during a religious meet, PTI reported.
The pardon was later withdrawn.
On June 6, 1984, more than 1,000 were killed during a raid on the Sikh’s holiest shrine to clamp down on extremist operations led by Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale.