Monday, August 8, 2022

38th Holocaust Anniversary:  How do Sikhs feel about paramilitary deployment in Amritsar?

Amritsar Sahib: In the wake of 38th anniversary of Ghallughara Diwas, the Indian government has deployed heavy paramilitary forces in the holy city Amritsar Sahib accompanied by a media campaign to justify its move by casting a narrative of the possibility of terror attacks through mainstream outlets.

While the first seven fiery days of June month bring physical discomfort for the Sikhs living across Punjab, broadcasting of one-sided anti-Sikh narratives on Indian mainstream channels aimed at vilifying martyred Sikh strugglers burn their souls too.

Latest updates reveal that four companies of paramilitary forces — two of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and two of the Rapid Action Force (RAF)—have started camping in the holy city for the last a few days while 2,000 troopers of the Border Security Force (BSF) will be in Amritsar from June 1 onwards.

“We have installed 20 barricades on the outskirts of the city. Vehicles coming from Amritsar-rural, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur side are being checked at these points. Similarly, 30 checkpoints have been set up at prominent locations in the city, including the Bhandari Bridge and Novelty Chowk. We have also deployed adequate force to work 24×7 at all 17 gates of the walled city, leading to the Golden Temple. Around 100 police personnel have been stationed inside the Golden Temple complex while 150 personnel are deployed around the complex. These numbers will be increased from June 1,” told DCP (law and order) Parminder Singh Bhandal to HT.

Although the Indian state fabricates a variety of excuses to justify this paramilitary deployment, the Sikhs across Punjab feel humiliated. They consider this move of the Indian state as ‘salt rubbing on their unhealed wounds.’

“On June 6 every year, Sikhs from all over the world try to gather at Sri Akal Takht Sahib to pay homage to the great Sikh warriors who laid their lives to inhibit the Indian army’s impious invasion into the holiest Sikh shrine. This gathering is held peacefully just to offer Ardas but the Indian state machinery doesn’t leave any stone unturned to vilify this religious congregation,” says Navdeep Singh.  

File Photo: Sikh Intellectual Prabhsharandeep Singh

Sikh intellectual Prabhsharandeep Singh says that the Indian government has gone anxious due to the rising awareness among Sikhs about the wrongs faced by them due to which it is tending to suppress the Sikhs with further use of force. “At present, the Sikhs need to unite at ground level and internationally expose the fascist face of the Indian government with proper facts,” he adds.

Interrogation of innocent but dissenting Sikhs: Like every year, the Indian state machinery has also started interrogating innocent but dissenting Sikhs with the intention to spread panic among Sikhs about the holocaust week.

Today, Sikh activists Papalpreet Singh, Ranjit Singh Damdami Taksal, etc. have been called upon to their corresponding police stations for unnecessary interrogation.

Season of venomous statements for the state guarded Hindu extremists

As the holocaust week nears every year, state guarded Hindu extremists like Sudhir Suri, Nishant Sharma etc. start giving venomous statements against the Sikh martyrs. Despite using ill language against the Sikhs, they continue to enjoy a security shield instead of facing legal action.

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