Chandigarh: Ahead of the 32nd anniversary of Operation Bluestar, Punjab Police today detained several radical leaders in raids at various places in the state as a preventive measure to maintain law and order. In Ludhiana, three Sikh hardliners, including Dal Khalsa leader Daljit Singh Bittu, were apprehended, police said. Police also detained Sikh activist Manvinder Singh Giaspura and Jaswant Singh Cheema, local leader of SAD (A), they said. The raids at the houses of various hardliners were carried out in the wee hours, they said.
However, some of the members of SAD (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa managed to escape, police said. “It is a preventive action before the (Operation) Bluestar anniversary to maintain law and order,” police said. In Bathinda, police arrested religious leader Hardeep Mehraj and United Akali Dal leader Gurdeep Singh in the wee hours. Patiala police also rounded up a few activists of the SAD (Amritsar). Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Avtar Singh Makkar said police had rounded up Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singh wala at Bathinda. Police have stepped up vigil in Amritsar and areas around the Golden Temple.
In June, 1984, more than 1,000 people were killed in Operation Bluestar, the raid on Sikh’s holiest shrine Golden Temple to flush out extremists led by Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale. Bhindrawale and his associates were killed in the operation. Meanwhile, Amrik Singh, who was ‘appointed’ Keshgarh Sahib Jathedar by a Sikh conclave last year, urged Sikhs to reach Amritsar on June 6 to participate in ‘ardass’ (prayer meeting) organised by various Sikh organisations to pay homage to those killed in Operation Bluestar.
Addressing a gathering at Gurudwara Singh Sahib at Dharmkot in Moga district, he criticised Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for allegedly undermining and misusing Sikh institutions. Police also cracked down on radicals in Moga district conducting raids at the houses of activists of Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Dal Khalsa. Several activists were rounded up as a preventive measure, police said. PTI
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