ANI Photo | Low attendance, no aggressive gestures, Waris Punjab De crackdown cast shadow on Operation Bluestar anniversary: Intel report

The Operation Bluestar anniversary at Amritsar’s Golden Temple, an otherwise big-ticket event in Punjab’s annual calendar, was a subdued affair this year. Intelligence agencies believe a dip in attendance was due to close monitoring and a carry-over effect of the crackdown on the radical group ‘Waris Punjab De’ earlier this year.
On June 6, the 39th anniversary of Operation Bluestar was observed at Golden Temple in Amritsar. To avoid any nefarious plans of separatist elements, heavy police presence was seen across the city. Policemen and sleuths of intelligence agencies in plain clothes were deployed within the confines of the Golden Temple complex.
In a report prepared by central intelligence agencies mentioned that the gathering in the main Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) programme at Akal Takht remained low as it was only attended by around 2000 people as compared to the earlier years when more than 3000 people used to attend it.
A senior official said that the low turnout could be attributed partly to the strong action against ‘Waris Punjab De’ (WPD) due to which youth stayed away from the event fearing action by the police.
In the main programme at Akal Takht, sufficient number of Task Force by SGPC was deployed creating a sort of barricading around Akal Takht resulting in better arrangements. Main radical leaders were engaged by the SGPC and police to keep their programmes muted and hold them on one side of Akal Takht in a restricted space. Less hooliganism was observed by youth among Sikh radicals, the report reads.
On June 1, Sikh radical outfit Dal Khalsa gave a call for Amritsar shutdown on the 39th anniversary of Operation Bluestar. The programme by radicals remained peaceful as there was no provocation by other opponent outfits. There was no attempt of open display of swords noticed in programme of Dal Khalsa as well as in main programme of SGPC.
The Focus Group meeting and State Multi-Agency Centre (SMAC) which liaison with other states and the intelligence bureau, helped sensitize the police officials as well as district level about the past experiences and instances. It resulted in curtailing hooliganism and providing better optics than previous years, the report said.

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