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Swords Brandished at Golden Temple on Operation Bluestar Anniversary

Clashes broke out between pro-Khalistan groups and the SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) task force, which were assisted police personnel in civil dress, during a ceremony to mark Operation Blue Star’s 35th anniversary at Golden temple complex on Thursday. After the clash, the markets in the neighborhood remained closed for several hours. Dhian Singh Mand, Sarbat Khalsa-appointed ‘parallel’ jathedar, tried to make a speech but gurbani kirtan started to play on speakers in loud volume after Akal Takht acting president Giani Harpreet Singh concluded his public address from the Akal Takht podium. Meanwhile, Mand’s aide Jarnail Singh Sakhira claimed that SGPC task force manhandled him. Amritsar’s SAD president Simranjit Singh Mann along with his supporters arrived there. A clash ensued after incensed, separatist groups breached the barricades raised in front of Akal Takht – barely 100 feet from sanctum sanctorum even as ACP JS Walia and his team pleaded with Sikh activists to maintain peace. Tension arose after some of these youths started brandishing swords and carrying banners of pictures of Bhindranwala. The scuffle turned into a minor clash after the radicals broke the police cordon. Calling it “violation of maryada”, Giani Harpreet Singh appealed to Sikh MPs to bring in a ‘resolution in Parliament’ against the then Union Government for the “attack” on the Golden Temple, Akal Takht and 37 other gurdwaras, which lead to the death of innocent pilgrims.

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