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Pro-Khalistan slogans raised in Golden Temple complex

Posted on Jun 06, 11:13PM | IANS

Amritsar, June 6 : Defying directions from the head of the Akal Takht, pro-Khalistan slogans were raised Wednesday by a handful of people during the function to mark the 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar by the Indian Army at the Golden Temple complex here.

The main focus of the event Wednesday was on the memorial being set up near the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikhism, by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to honour those killed during the Operation Bluestar June 1984.

Scores of people, including devotees, heavily armed terrorists and security personnel were killed during the operation in which the army entered the complex around the Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, to flush out heavily-armed terrorists led by radical Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

The Golden Temple complex, except for the sanctum sanctorum, suffered extensive damage during the army operation in which mortars and heavy artillery were used against the equally heavily-armed terrorists holed up inside the complex. The Akal Takht, which was badly damaged, was re-built.

Akal Takht jathedar (chief), Gurbachan Singh, read out the message for the Sikh religion on the occasion. He said that the Sikhs will never forget the darkest chapter in their religious history.

Hundreds of devotees were present during the occasion.

The Sikh clergy and the SGPC honoured Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist who has been condemned to the gallows for the assassination (Aug 31, 1995) conspiracy of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar told media Wednesday that building a memorial for those killed in Operation Bluestar was justified. He said that the Sikh religion will never forget the operation and the damage it did to the Sikh psyche.

Radical Sikh organisations marked the day as genocide day.

Religious prayers were offered for those who died during the operation.