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Instances of Punjab militancy being monitored: Shinde

Posted on Oct 10, 09:17PM | IANS

There have been instances of Punjab militant activity reported in the recent months, both within the country and abroad, and the situation is being constantly monitored, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Wednesday.

At a media interaction here to present his ministry's monthly report, Shinde, however, said these instances cannot be construed as an effort to revive militancy in the state bordering Pakistan.

"There is information that there are some instances (of Punjab militant activity), not only in the state but also abroad. We are monitoring it," he said.

However, it "cannot be called as revival of militancy", he maintained.

Shinde also refused to condemn or support the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the elected management panel of Sikh shrines, for its efforts to build a memorial to militants killed during Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar.

"We have received information on the memorial. I have already said while visiting Attari (India-Pakistan border checkpost near Amritsar) last week that this country has witnessed so much of financial loss due to militancy in the state. Everyone has to do some introspection on this," Shinde said.

When asked if the central government would stop the memorial construction, Shinde said that under the constitution, the centre cannot interfere in religious activities, as it is a matter of their rights. "That is why I asked them to introspect," he added.

On a security review for people connected to Operation Bluestar, in the wake of the attack on Lt Gen (retd) K.S. Brar in London Sep 30, Shinde said: "No such new view has been taken on their security. It is the obligatory duty to carry out review from time to time and give protection to all persons facing a threat."

Asked about his meeting with Punjab Congress Legislative Party chief Sunil Jakhar last week on the issue of security for state Congress leaders being allegedly withdrawn by the state government, Shinde said he had already written a letter on security to everyone facing a threat, and that included in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

"It is the responsibility of the states and the centre to give security to those facing a threat," he said.