Operation Bluestar: 1984 attack scars make Sikhs strong
Operation Bluestar: 1984 attack scars make Sikhs strong

AMRITSAR: Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh said on Tuesday that the scars left by the 1984 attack make the Sikhs "mazboot" (strong). He was speaking to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the Indian Army's "Operation Bluestar" in Amritsar.

Amid tight security, the anniversary was observed with the gathering of a massive number of radicals and sympathisers, who started gathering ahead before dawn in the Golden Temple in Amritsar

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Task Force and Punjab Police deployed in plain clothes quickly removed the radicals after they shouted pro-Khalistan and anti-government slogans.

At the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh faith situated inside the shrine complex, there were no indications of unrest except from the shouts uttered by the hardliners. Police officers and members of the SGPC Task Force kept a tight eye on the extremists who attempted to disrupt the ceremony.

Giani Harpreet Singh, the Jathedar of Akal Takht, called on all Sikh sects to work together to develop the "Sikh shakti," particularly in rural regions, in light of the growth of Christianity in nearby Pakistani communities.

Giani Harpreet Singh remarked in a message read from the Akal Takht podium to mark the occasion that the scars left by the 1984 attack make the Sikh people "amazboot" (strong), not "majboor" (helpless).

"The scars from 1984 could never be forgotten by Sikhs. A lot of information was being shared on social media using 1984-era defamatory terminology. I want to make it clear that it strengthens us," he stated, pleading with the Sikh missionaries to put aside their disagreements and work together to spread Sikhism, particularly in the isolated rural areas where the Sikhs felt defeated. "We have to take the Sikhs with shorn or cut hair back to the Sikh fold," the Jathedar was categorically clear in saying.

In order to prevent young people from cutting their hair short, he made a suggestion to the SGPC that they instill Sikhism's principles in them.

The late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi launched Operation Bluestar, a military operation to expel insurgents led by Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale who were camped out in Amritsar's Golden Temple complex.
It took place between June 1 and June 8, 1984, claimed a number of lives, and damaged the complex and shrine.
A gathering in support of Khalistan and to commemorate the day was arranged in the city by the hardline Sikh group Dal Khalsa.

Punjab has experienced tight security, and the extreme group has called for the closure of Amritsar. The SGPC had already been instructed by Akal Takht to make sure that the Golden Temple's holiness was maintained throughout the Operation Bluestar anniversary.

In many areas of Amritsar, especially near the Golden Temple complex, paramilitary soldiers and Punjab Police officers were keeping a tight eye on things. At the Akal Takht inside the Golden Temple complex, prayers were said from Sunday till Tuesday.

The holy text of the Guru Granth Sahib that was "injured" in the 1984 attack was decorated for the devotees by the SGPC in Gurdwara Shaheed Baba Gurbaksh Singh to pay respects on this day.

The SGPC President stated that the Sikh community will never forget the suffering caused by the holocaust in June 1984. The head of the SGPC, Harjinder Singh Dhami, stated in a message that "this day is very grave and emotional for the Sikh community, and the Sikhs should pay tribute to the martyrs as per its sentiments."

Security tightened at Golden Temple on Operation Blue Star anniversary


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