Amritsar on alert as Dal Khalsa calls for bandh to mark Operation Blue Star anniversary

File Photo: Golden Temple
File Photo: Golden Temple

With Sikh hardline group Dal Khalsa,  calling for a closure of the state capital in view of Operation Blue Star (32) anniversary, elaborate security arrangements have been made across Punjab.

As many as 8,000 personnel have been stationed in Amritsar for a week and sent to more than 200 checkpoints. As many as 15 companies, including Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Reserve Police Force among others have been deployed in Amritsar and other parts of the state.

Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avtar Singh Makkar appealed to people to exercise restraint.

The shutdown was to protest the sacrilege, the killing of innocent pilgrims, and loot of precious manuscripts from the Sikh Reference Library, said Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh.

However, Singh said, medical stores would be allowed to remain open in Amritsar, while he added the shutdown would be peaceful and guaranteed not to disrupt road and rail traffic.

Punjab Police had taken into custody radical leaders of the Sikh body in raids at various places as a preventive measure to maintain law and order in Amritsar on 4 June.

In Ludhiana, three Sikh hardliners, including Dal Khalsa leader DS Bittu, were detained, said police said. Some members of SAD (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa, however, managed to escape, they added.

Operation Blue Star, in which more than 1,000 people were killed  was carried out to flush out Sikh extremist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple Complex in Amritsar.