Pro-Khalistan slogans raised at Golden Temple on Operation Blue Star anniversary

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Amritsar (Punjab): Pro-Khalistan slogans were raised by several people from the Sikh community at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on the 40th anniversary of Operation Blue Star on Thursday. Protestors were carrying the posters of slain separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann was also seen among the people raising slogans and displaying posters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale at the Golden Temple premises. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up around the Golden Temple.
“Security arrangements have been made here. Forces have been deployed and barricading has been done. Any untoward incident will be monitored,” said Senior Superintendent of Police SS Randhawa Singh.

Bhindranwale was the head of the radical Sikh outfit Damdami Taksal. He along with his armed followers was killed during Operation Blue Star launched by the Indian Army to flush out the militants from the Golden Temple complex in June 1984. June 6, 1984, marked the day when the Indian Army, under Operation Blue Star, stormed into the Golden Temple on orders of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to contain Sikh militancy under the leadership of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Punjab. It was reported that Bhindranwale had stashed large quantities of arms on the Golden Temple premises.

The Operation was heavily criticised. Months later, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards at her New Delhi residence on October 31, 1984. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh were Indira Gandhi’s bodyguards and killed her on October 31, 1984, at her residence.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, son of Beant Singh (one of Indira Gandhi’s bodyguards) registered victory from the Faridkot constituency with a margin of 70,053 votes over Aam Aadmi Party leader Karamjit Singh Anmol.
Earlier, Lt Gen (retd) Kuldeep Singh Brar who led the 1984 Operation Bluestar to flush out extremists from the Golden Temple said that Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had “allowed” militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to grow into a sort of Frankenstein monster and decided to “finish him off” when he reached the pinnacle.

The retired 1971 war veteran, Lt Gen (retd) Brar in an interview with ANI said, “No one wants an operation, but what do you do? Indira Gandhi allowed him to become Frankenstein. You could see every year what was happening. But when he reached the pinnacle, now finish him off, now destroy him. It’s too late.”

He claimed that the then-political leadership had allowed the Bhindranwale cult to flourish. “They had their own little problem support between Akali and Congress. They allowed this cult of Bhindranwale to continue,” the retired army officer had said.

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