Bluestar Anniversary: Violence inside Golden Temple complex leaves 10 injured
AMRITSAR: Violent clashes broke out between two Sikh groups inside the Golden Temple complex on the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, Friday. A s per reports, trouble started after members of the Shiromani Akali Dal-controlled Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) protested Shriomani Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader Simranjit Singh Mann’s attempt to give a speech from Rostrum of the Akal Takht.
This infuriated Mann supporters with one of them attempting to snatch the microphone from Jathedar of Akal Thakt, Giani Gurbachan Singh. SGPC-run Golden Temple Task Force swung into action immediately and took on Mann supporters. Soon it was a free for all, with both sides reacting violently with swords and lathis.
The clash began just after the religious ceremony to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar ended Friday morning. 10 people, including a child, were injured in the incident. Members of the media were also targeted. The Akal Takht is one of the five seats of power of the Sikh religion. It is located in the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex.
Giani Gurbachan Singh later said, “Deliberate attempts were made to start violence, perpetrators will be punished. People are injured in clashes,some outside agents came in, started violence.”
The situation has turned tense in parts of Amritsar with many shops downing shutters. Anti Riot Police from Bhatinda and Jalandhar have been rushed to Amritsar and patrolling outside Golden Temple intensified to prevent further trouble. Dal Khalsa’s spokesman Kanwarpal Singh and 50 supporters were later detained outside the Golden Temple. Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), is a splinter group of the SAD, led by Simranjit Singh Mann which advocates formation of Khalistan, an independent state for the Sikhs through democratic process.
Following the clashes, Simranjeet Singh Mann said, “Khalistan is the only solution, its in the interest of all communities.” SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said, “ What happened inside Golden Temple is unfortunate, SGPC will take action against culprits.