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All Sikhs want ‘Khalistan’, says Akal Takht head

Akal Takht head priest Giani Harpreet Singh (right) and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal (left) speak to the media at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on June 6, 2020 on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of Operation Blue Star.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Giani Harpreet Singh, chief priest of the Akal Takht, the highest Sikh temporal seat, on Saturday said Sikhs wanted “khalistan” and if the government (of India) offered it, they would accept it.

Also read: Beyond Khalistan

Mr. Singh was responding to a question from a journalist on the shouting of pro-‘khalistan’ slogans on the Golden Temple premises in Amritsar on the 36th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Heated arguments broke out between Sikh activists and police personnel and they almost came to blows as the former sought entry into the Golden Temple, which has not yet been opened owing to the lockdown.

Mr. Singh said, “If slogans are raised after the function, there is nothing wrong in it... If the government offers ‘khalistan’, what else can we ask for? All Sikhs want ‘khalistan’; we will accept it.”

His comment was seconded by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gobind Singh Longowal. To a similar question, he said, “If anyone [government] offers it, we will accept it.”

Also read: Check spread of Khalistan movement: Punjab CM

It was on June 6, 1984, the Army stormed the complex of Harmandir Sahib (Golden temple) to flush out extremists led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

Manoranjan Kalia, who was a Minister in the previous Akali Dal- BJP government, said people holding responsible post should not behove or do acts that caused a scratch on the communal harmony and peace of Punjab.

“By justifying the demand of ‘khalistan’, Jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh has injured the feelings of Punjabis. It was not expected from a person sitting on a responsible post,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:33:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/will-accept-if-govt-offers-khalistan-akal-takht-chief-priest/article31768078.ece

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