New Delhi — Though official circles were reluctant to comment on the latest posture taken by the S.G.P.C. president, Mr. G.S. Tohra_ soon after his arrival at Amritsar, there was a hint of anxiety in these circles over the situation. It seems that the Government is going to get tough in dealing with the Punjab situation. Indications to this effect were evident from the statement made by the Home Minister in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Punjab Governor, Mr. Arjun Singh, arrived here on Monday evening and met the Prime Minister, Mr. ‘Rajiv Gandhi to apprise him of the steps taken by the Punjab Government to tighten up security arrangements and also to apprehend the activists. The Government had earlier been considering more concessions to the Akalis to come to some settlement. But the latest thinking seems to be to give top priority to curbing the freedom fighters activities. There is more concern in the Government over the attitude of the five Sikh priests who have not said even a word on killings in Punjab, and the ‘“‘Dhadi Jathas,’’ who in religious gatherings are whipping up the emotions of Sikh masses by singing praises of Bhindranwale and even the assassins of Indira Gandhi. The sources point out that while the Government will continue making efforts for a negotiated settlement with the Akalis, the Government at no cost, will ignore the requirements for maintaining law and order in the border state. The government proposes to deal with the situation firmly.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1985