NATIONAL

SGPC polls: Badal to reach Amritsar today

Jalandhar Nov.10. Members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) loyal to former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, will reach Amritsar tomorrow by air along with him.

The strategy for going towards the Golden Temple would be decided tomorrow, the press secretary to Mr.Badal, Daljit Singh Cheema, said, adding that Mr.Badal along with the members would hold a press conference at the Amritsar Airport at 1p.m.

He said over 100 SGPC members, who were at the farm-house of the former Chief Minister in Haryana would be ferried to Delhi from where they would be flown to Amritsar tomorrow to proceed for the ensuing presidential SGPC election at the Golden Temple.

Mr. Cheema said police atrocities had refreshed the memory of ` Operation Blue Star' and the Sikh Panth would not forgive Captain Amarinder Singh, for his alleged interference in the religious affairs.

He criticised the police and the administration for evacuating the `sarai' and hostel of the Golden Temple premises and harassing devotees.

Security tightened

With the SGPC executive body polls hardly 48 hours away, the holy city of Amritsar has been converted into a police cantonment.

Security in and around the city in general and the along the SGPC periphery in particular has been tightened, with the deployment of additional security personnel.

Police sources said nothing was being left to chance and all precautions had been taken to deal with any eventuality in the wake of ``threats'' and ``counter-threats'' by the SAD president, Parkash Singh Badal, and Sarab Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD) Chief, Gurcharan Singh Tohra, that they would throng the SGPC complex with their supporters on November 12.

Special police check posts have been created on the main entry points of the city with visitors being frisked before being allowed entry.

Dozens of barricades have been erected around the Golden Temple and SGPC Complex and the visitors were subjected to numerous security checks before being allowed to reach the Temple.

The SGPC secretary, Harbeant Singh, speaking to PTI alleged that ``the terror created in the name of security was tantamount to direct interference by the Government in the day-to-day functioning of the SGPC".

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