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5 hurt in Golden Temple clash

Amritsar, Jun 6 (PTI): At least five persons were injured in the Golden Temple on Friday, the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, when guards of the temple body clashed with followers of a Shiromani Akali Dal leader who wanted to deliver a message from the Akal Takht or seat of power.

Amritsar’s police chief Jatinder Singh Aulakh said Simranjeet Singh Mann, head of the SAD’s Amritsar unit, along with some supporters tried to enter the Akal Takht.

Mann was prevented from delivering the speech following which a clash broke out between SAD (Amritsar) activists and guards of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) task force.

The police chief said swords were used in the violence, which left five members of SGPC task force injured.

Police personnel are not permitted inside the Golden temple premises where security and other issues are under the control of task force, Aulakh said.

However, he said, no one received serious injury in the clash.

“The situation has been defused and things are under total control,” he said.

Unconfirmed reports claim that at least 12 persons were injured, including two of them seriously.

The anniversary of Operation Blue Star was observed at Akal Takht at the marbled periphery of Harmandhar Sahib popularly known as Golden Temple.

On June 6, 1984, the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, had ordered troops into the temple to flush out Sikh extremists led by Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, who had set up base there.

Bhindrawale and his associates were killed in the operation.

During the day, SAD (Amritsar) activists raised slogans. The trouble started when Akal Takht head Gurbachan Singh was addressing the gathering from the Akal Takht and Mann tried to disrupt him from delivering the address.

During the melee, many panic-striken devotees ran for safety, sources said.

Meanwhile, 1,500 personnel of anti-riot police were deployed in several places in Amritsar in the wake of a bandh call given by hardline outfit Dal Khalsa.