Though SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann had left the place which witnessed an armed scuffle inside Golden Temple on the 30th anniversary of operation Blue Star on Friday, the seeds of the clash were sown when Mann and his supporters were denied to use the public address system to address a gathering.
This was however not the first time that Mann, a vociferous votary of separate homeland for Sikhs the Khalistan, had made demands to speak from the rostrum of Akal Takht. On almost every anniversary of Op Blue Star, the same scene had been playing. Only difference this time was the scuffle turned into bloody melee where swords came out of sheaths, and a no holds barred clash ensued.
Formerly an Indian Police Services officer who served on various positions, Mann resigned as IPS officer in June 1984 in protest against operation Blue Star. Two time Member of Parliament Mann represented Tarn Taran and Sangrur in 1989 and 1999, respectively, in Lok Sabha. He contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Khadoor Sahib unsuccessfully.
On Friday, he blamed the SGPC for the ruckus. Mann, who has been detained and arrested many times in different cases, but never convicted, also reiterated his demand for Khalistan calling it a “buffer” state between “nuclear” armed India, Pakistan and China. He added that a “Sikh nation” would be truly secular in nature and would be against any nuclear war.
At Tri Nagar, Smriti Irani centered her speech around Modi, with over 10 references in 11-minute extempore.