Violence in Akal Takht raises fears of Sikh extremism!?


Violence erupted in the inner buildings of Golden Temple Complex this morning during a meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar. Two groups openly brandished Kirpans and staffs and attacked each other, chasing each other around outside the Akal Takht building.

Trouble arose when Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader Simranjit Singh Mann tried to speak from the rostrum of the Akal Takht. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee leaders and the SGPC Task Force members opposed the move. In the scuffle, Mann’s supporters tried to snatch the mike from SGPC leader, Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Gurbachan Singh. The SGPC Task Force members attacked Mann’s supporters and soon the situation descended to open fight between the groups. Over 15 persons are seriously injured, prompting the police to rush in. The anti-riot police have brought the situation under control. Over 50 persons are arrested.

Few sikh organizations are said to be demanding international probe, UN inquiry into Operation Bluestar.

Mann’s SAD (Amritsar) is still trying to raise support for Khalistan, which has caused the Operation Bluestar, and further anti sikh riots and sikh extremist purgation that resulted in the deaths of thousands of sikhs. The separatist demand and Operation Blustar has also resulted in the death of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The Sikh society has finally relented in the early 90’s and distanced itself from the Khalistan and reentered the Country’s mainstream life. But the Khalistan slogan has refused to die down and is still heard and supported by hidden organizations and individuals who settled in UK, Canada and other foreign countries.

Will this cause a change in the Sikh social fabric again? Has the extremism already seeped into Sikh mainland and the Indian government has failed to notice it?

Medaram Jathara

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