Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Amrtisar | Updated: June 6, 2020 1:37:03 pm
Outside the Golden Temple in Amritsar on the eve of the 36th anniversary of Operation Blue Star. (PTI Photo)
Akal Takht acting Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh on Saturday said all Sikhs want Khalistan and if the Indian government gives it, they shall take it. He was responding to questions at a press conference on the occasion of the 36th ‘Ghallughara Diwas’, the anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
At the press conference, asked about sloganeering at Akal Takht in favour of Khalistan during and after his anniversary speech, the Jathedar said: “There is nothing wrong if slogans are raised after the function. If the government gives us Khalistan, what more can we ask for? We shall accept it. Every Sikh wants Khalistan.” The Jathedar then went on to clarify: “Guru Nanak Dev Ji had laid the foundation of the Begampura. Guru Hargobind Singh founded Akal Takht. It is our great sovereign commitment.”
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal was also sitting next to the Jathedar when he made the statement. Asked the same question, Longowal said after avoiding an answer initially: “If anyone offers it to us, we shall take it.”
Meanwhile, for the first time since the Operation Bluestar, devotees were not allowed to enter the Golden Temple premises during the anniversary event. The unprecedented security arrangements meant a heavy police deployment around Amritsar with the walled city almost sealed off.
As the Jathedar delivered his customary speech to mark the event, the audience was made up of Punjab Police in civil clothes and SGPC employees, drenched in the summer rain. However, there was a minor scuffle inside as political activists of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and some other Sikh bodies managed to enter inside premises.
Interestingly, devotees were being let in even during the Covid-19 lockdown in the state. Police released the restrictions in Amritsar as soon as the anniversary function was over.
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