MUKTSAR: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today asked the people of the state to exercise restraint while observing the 32nd anniversary of Operation Bluestar tomorrow peacefully even as police continued to crack down on radicals across the state.
On the sidelines of Sangat Darshan programme in Lambi assembly segment here, the Chief Minister said the state government was committed to maintaining peace, communal harmony and brotherhood in the state.
He said the state government is keeping a strict vigil and every effort is being made to maintain law and order.
The Chief Minister said peace and communal harmony should be our priority as they are catalysts for overall development of any state.
He bemoaned that Punjab had already suffered a lot during the "black days" of the militancy due to which the economic development of state was stalled and several thousand precious lives were lost.
"So the need of the hour is that all of us should join hands to strengthen the ethos of peace, communal harmony and brotherhood in the state," Badal said.
On the proposed agitation of Congress in Balad Kalan village on June 18, the Chief Minister termed it as a 'political gimmick'.
He said the state government is already probing the issue of lathicharge by the Bhawanigarh police on agitating Dalits on May 24 at Balad Kalan village and there was no need for a protest by Congress leadership.
The party is only wasting energy by politicising the issue, the chief minister said.
Meanwhile, as part of a statewide police crackdown on radical Sikhs ahead of the anniversary of Operation BlueStar, police has rounded up SAD(A) and Damdami Taksal activists from several places.
SAD (A) state executive committee member Rajinder Singh Fauji was arrested as a preventive measure from Phagwara, police said.
Members of Damdami Taksal, Dal Khalsa and SAD (A) are also being held as preventive steps, they said.
A crackdown on Sikh radicals was being made in view of the intelligence reports of a possible trouble by them during the observance of BlueStar anniversary at Akal Takht Sahib inside Golden Temple Complex tomorrow, police said.
SAD (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann appealed to various Sikh organizations not to hold separate functions tomorrow to pay homage to those killed in operation Blue Star.
He appealed to all organizations and general public to reach Golden Temple and participate "in a big way" in ardas (prayer).
He criticised the SAD-BJP government for detaining activists of Dal Khalsa and SAD (A).
Meanwhile, in an early morning raid at Tharaj village of Bagahpunana in Moga district, police rounded up Chamkur Singh, district president of United Akali Dal.
According to some reports, several activists of radical organisations have gone underground to avoid arrest, police said.
Police also staged flag marches at different places, including Amritsar and Moga to instill confidence among people.