Amritsar: Longowal faction organized a rally on Sunday at the Golden Temple after boycotting the week long commemoration ceremony organized by the United Shiromani_ Akali Dal which concluded on June 6, 1985. Longowal is being projected by Indian T.V. and radio as the ‘real’ leader of the Sikhs whereas Sikh masses call him and Tohra as “traitors,” ‘New Delhi’s bosom friends” and “Killers of martyrs.”

Indian  government’s strategy to remove Sant Jarnail Singh from the Akali scene in order to facilitate bargain with its stooges in the Akali ranks backfired in June last year as it exposed the reality of these leaders before the Sikh world. Sikhs no longer have faith in them and government is using them to keep Sikhs divided so as to continue keeping Sikhs in slavish subjugation.

Violence flared up at the ‘Sarkari Sammalen’ despite the presence of more than 5,000 paramilitary troops and police around the Temple complex and about 500 plainclothes police personnel inside the complex. Longowal faction had erected barbed wire barricades around the main Hall (Manji Sahib). Police commandos with stengun were present on dias of Manji Sahib to protect the ‘Sikh Leaders’ in a Sikh Temple. The leaders on the dias reminded of the visit of Indira Gandhi and Zail Singh after the ‘Bluestar operation.’ The so called Sikh leaders looked no different and the whole function was in sharp contrast to the open and solemn proceedings at the same place two days earlier in which Baba Joginder Singh lashed at the government repression.

The arrival of Longowal, Tohra and Badal provoked part of the participants to raise slogans against them. Plainclothes police personnel immediately pounced upon them and started beating the youth with batons. More than 200 Sikhs were arrested and at least 20 were injured in the wild attack by the government agents and policemen.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 14, 1985