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Tight security in Punjab ahead of Operation Bluestar anniversary

CHANDIGARH:Elaborate security arrangements have put in place at Amritsar and several parts of the state, even as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday exhorted the people to exercise restraint and observe anniversary of Operation Blue Star on Monday peacefully.

Sikh youth flash swords and raise slogans in praise of so-called Khalistan while taking round of Golden Temple in Amritsar on the occasion of anniversary of Operation Bluestar in 2015.

“We have made sufficient deployment of security forces in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala,” a senior Punjab police official told PTI on Sunday.

As many as 15 Companies of paramilitary forces including ITBP, CRPF, RAF, besides police personnel in strength, have been deployed.

“Six Companies of paramilitary forces have been placed at Amritsar while rest will be deployed in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala,” he said.

As part of a statewide police crackdown on radical Sikhs, police has already rounded up activists of SAD (Amritsar) and Damdami Taksal from several places to avoid any trouble in the wake of 32nd anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Several activists have also gone underground in the wake of the preventive arrests, official sources said.

Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been made in Amritsar to thwart any attempt by miscreants to disturb law and order.

“We will not allow anyone to disturb peace and harmony in the city,” Amritsar Police Commissioner, A S Chahal said.

While a few radical Sikh organisations have given a call for a shut down in Amritsar, Mr. Chahal said nobody will be allowed to close shops forcefully.

“We will not allow anyone to force shopkeepers to shut down their shops and brandish swords,” he said.

Over 8,000 security personnel including paramilitary forces have been deployed in Amritsar, Mr. Chahal said, adding that police will keep an eye on people to thwart any attempt by miscreants to create disturbance.

Security personnel have also been deployed around the Golden Temple in Amritsar, he said.

“CCTVs have been installed at key locations for surveillance purposes,” Mr. Chahal said.

“Devotees coming to Golden Temple will not face any problem,” he assured.

He also said Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has deployed its task force inside the Golden Temple and will remain on alert.

On June 6 last year, five youths were injured in a clash inside the Golden Temple when people had gathered there to mark the anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

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