Elaborate security arrangements are in place at Amritsar and several parts of the state, even as Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal exhorted the people to exercise restraint and observe the 32nd anniversary of Operation Bluestar peacefully.
“We have made sufficient deployment of security forces in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala,” a senior Punjab police official said.
As many as 15 companies of paramilitary forces including Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force, 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 Shiromani Akali Dal-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 shutdown in Amritsar, 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, 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,” Chahal said.
“Devotees coming to Golden Temple will not face any problem,” he assured.
He also said the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee 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.
Image: Rapid Action Force personnel take out flag march to instill a sense of security and safety among the residents of Amritsar. Photograph: PTI