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Police conduct searches in Golden Temple complex

Amritsar Nov. 10. Police today entered the Golden Temple complex and searched guesthouses of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) for weapons, as arrest warrants were issued against the former SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, and 74 Badal loyalists were arrested in Punjab ahead of Tuesday's election to the top Sikh religious body.

Amritsar came under a thick security cover in the wake of bitter rivalry for securing control of the SGPC, which manages Sikh shrines across the country. Police put up huge barricades around the shrine to prevent violence.

In Kapurthala, a local court issued an arrest warrant against Bibi Jagir Kaur, also a Shiromani Akali Dal MLA, in a power theft case. Preventive arrests continued in the State with 74 persons taken into custody for apprehension of breach of peace in Kapurthala, Muktsar and Faridkot, taking to 725 the number of those arrested in the past three days.

The Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, declared that the steps were necessary to ensure free and fair polls.

In New Delhi, official sources said the Centre was considering a request from the SAD chief and former Punjab Chief Minister, Prakash Singh Badal, to depute observers to monitor the polls.


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