Operation Bluestar anniversary: 5 injured in clash inside Golden Temple
Amritsar: Five youths were injured in a clash inside Golden Temple here today when people had gathered there to mark the 31st anniversary of Operation Bluestar.
According to police, the incident took place as members of the SGPC's Task Force resorted to lathicharge on a group of 22 Sikh youths who were raising pro-Khalistan slogans on the periphery of the temple near Akal Takht.
Five of the protesting youths were injured in the action with two of them sustaining head injuries. Deputy Commissioner of Police Parmpal Singh said that trouble started as the group of 22 people raised pro-Khalistan slogans and were joined in it by some Sikh youths who had come to the temple.
That prompted the SGPC Task Force members to disperse them and the slogan-chanting youths were forced to move outside Golden Temple, where all 22 of them were taken into preventive custody by police.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Avtar Singh Makkar said the incident was the handiwork of some “suspicious elements” who raised separatist slogans while brandishing naked swords.
SGPC further said the incident act has hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community as it alleged that many of those who had created the disturbance inside the Golden Temple premises were clean shaven and had come just to disturb the sanctity of the holy place.
Earlier, in the morning, slogans referring to Khalistan(a separate Sikh Home land) were raised amidst brandishing of sword at Akal Takht by SAD (Amritsar) supporters, who were led by former MP Dhian Singh Mand. President of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and former MP Simranjit Singh Mann could not be present at Akal Takht due to ill health.
But in his absence, Mand led the party's activists, including a sizeable number of youths who brandished swords and raised pro-Khalistan slogans. Policemen in plainclothes were present inside the premises of Golden Temple along with a heavy deployment of SGPC's Task Force.