Bluestar: Parallel jathedar stays away
Amritsar: Barring minor altercations and sloganeering, the prayer ceremony to mark the 34th anniversary of the Operation Bluestar at the Golden Temple complex here passed off peacefully.Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh appeared to be courteous towards “pro-freedom” Sikh organisations. In his customary “sandesh” (address), without mentioning the name of “Khalistan”, he categorically stated that the Congress during the pre-Independence era had promised Sikhs of giving a separate independent state, which was never fulfilled. Rather, the Indian forces attacked Akal Takht and the Golden Temple in 1984, making the Sikh community have a sense of “slavery”. A yellow triangular “Khalistan” flag was unfurled at the Akal Takht podium by the SAD (Amritsar), led by Simranjit Singh Mann.The jathedar did not take exception to it and said Mann had attentively listened to the “sandesh” read by him. “It was part of their programme to unfurl the flag. They didn’t create any trouble. Mann sahib deserves appreciation for being calm during the customary address. I am pleased to find that no attempt was made to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the Golden Temple complex,” he said.“Parallel” acting jathedar Dhian Singh Mand, appointed during the controversial 2015 Sarbat Khalsa at Chabba, was conspicuous by his absence. He was earlier adamant on delivering the customary address from the Akal Takht only, as he had been doing since 2015. Talking to The Tribune, the jathedar hinted that there was every possibility of all disgruntled Sikh groups coming on one platform at Akal Takht and resolving the differences. General secretary of the SAD (Amritsar) Jarnail Singh Sakhira said though there was no major clash or resistance shown to them by the SGPC this time, only Dhian Singh Mand could lead the Sikh community.
Amid heavy security, commotion was witnessed with minor arguments between SAD (Amritsar) activists and the SGPC task force. This was followed by another instance when two youths were nabbed and beaten up by the SGPC task force. They were identified as Nitin and Harsimran.
Amritsar observes shutdown
City residents observed a shutdown on a call given by the Dal Khalsa. They paid homage to those who laid down their lives during the Operation Bluestar in 1984.