Monday, April 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Tension near Golden Temple defused
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 1
Tension gripped the vicinity of the Golden Temple last evening with the pitching of a “shamiana” outside Chhani Temple near the Golden Temple for a ‘jagran’.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee objected to the move as the ‘jagran’ was to be held at the roadside, hampering pilgrim traffic to the Golden Temple. Since the district administration took more than 10 hours to defuse the situation, The SGPC deployed more than 100 men of its ‘task force’ in the area.

Dr Gurbachan Singh Bachan, Secretary, SGPC, alleged that the Deputy Commissioner was told about the problem at 10.30 a.m., but no official reached the site till noon.

Activists of Hindu organisations, including Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, President, All-India Hindu Suraksha Samiti, and Mr Arvind Khanna, President, Bajrang Dal, also reached the site.

To prevent the situation from taking an ugly turn, Gurpreet Sapra, SDM, called both parties to the Kotwali police station. The matter, was resolved late in the evening. The venue of the ‘jagran’ was shifted to the temple premises.

Mr Gurbachan Singh claimed that the ‘jagran’ was never held at the roadside of Chhani Temple earlier. However, leaders of Hindu organisations insisted that they had the right to perform the ‘jagran’ outside the temple.

However, the venue of the ‘jagran’ was shifted amicably with both parties reaching a compromise. Later, Dr Baldev Parkash Chawla, Minister, Health and senior BJP leader lighted the ‘jyoti’ inside the temple before the ‘jagran’.

The administration had to deploy the police in strength in the vicinity of the Golden Temple and Chhani Temple as a precautionary measure.

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