Every Sikh wants Khalistan, says Akal Takht priest on Operation Bluestar anniversary

Ardas and kirtan were performed at the Takht in memory of those killed in Operation Bluestar.

CHANDIGARH: On the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar today, a controversy erupted as Akal Takht (highest temporal seat of Sikhs) Jathedar Giani (high priest) Harpreet Singh raked up the issue of Khalistan as he said that the union government should offer then a separate state as every Sikh wanted it and will accept it.

Otherwise, the anniversary passed off peacefully amid protests and slogan shouting by radicals at the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar.

After the culmination of the annual function at Akal Takht to mark the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, Harpreet Singh in a reply to the question on slogans being raised in favour of Khalistan during the function by some hardliners said, “There is nothing wrong if slogans in favour of Khalistan are raised after the function by the Sikh hardliners. If the government offers us Khalistan, what else do we need, we will accept it, because every Sikh wants it.”

Singh also said that he had no objection if Sikhs raise slogans of Khalistan outside Akal Takht Sahib but raising such slogans in the official function of Operation Blue Star is unacceptable.

Endorsing Singh’s views, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal, who was present said,”If the government offers it (Khalistan) we will accept it.”

Ardas and kirtan were performed at the Takht in memory of those killed in Operation Bluestar.

Earlier while delivering his annual address at the function as it was raining, Singh said, “As Sikhs lack unity, there are these restrictions by the police for devotees at the Golden Temple.”

Sources said that the police tried to stop the activists of various Sikh organizations who came early in the morning in large numbers to pay obeisance at the golden temple ignoring social distancing norms. But these activists managed to get inside the temple complex after heated arguments.

The Sarbat Khalsa appointed ‘parallel’ officiating Jathedar of Akal Takht, Dhyan Singh Mand along with his supporters also reached the complex.

Meanwhile, the supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) had a minor scuffle as Emaan Singh Mann son of Simranjit Singh Mann was stopped by the police at the entrance of Golden Temple.  But they were allowed inside after they held a demonstration.

These fringe elements were not allowed by the police to reach Akal Takht Sahib (highest temporal seat of Sikhs) in golden temple complex and thus they protested against the SGPC and the state government.

They alleged that the Akali leadership had protected Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and was involved in sacrilege cases of Guru Granth Sahib. They also alleged that CM Capt. Amarinder Singh led Punjab government was acting as per wish of the Shiromani Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal as Sukhbir and Amardiner were hand in glove.

To check the people getting inside the shrine, metal detectors were placed at the entrances for the first time. Some 5,000 police personnel have been deployed in the holy city to maintain law and order. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, health department teams were stationed to screen the devotees entering the temple complex.

The task force of the SGPC and the police in plain clothes in the golden temple complex failed to ensure social distancing.

Source: Hindustan Times

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