AMRITSAR: It is almost seen as routine by the administration and the Punjab government, and perhaps it is. A ritualistic reminder of the remnants of the Khalistan separatist movement with slogans raised every year in the Golden Temple in Amritsar by Sikh hardliners while heavily armed paramilitary turns the city into a fortress.

This year too was no different as on the 33rd anniversary of Operation Bluestar-- when the Army stormed into the Golden Temple to rid it of separatist led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and blew up the Akal Takht in the process--the radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa declared a bandh.

When the Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat for Sikhs) Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh started his customary address, supporters of the SAD (A) led by Simranjit Singh Mann raised slogans of 'Khalistan Zindabad'. Cops were present in plainclothes inside the, but the slogans for an independent Khalistan continued throughout the meet.

The 'Sarbat Khalsa' appointed "parallel" Jathedar Dhian Singh Mand, in his address from the ground floor of the Akal Takht, accused former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of interfering in Sikh religious affairs including in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) according to agency reports.

Mann said SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar had assured them yesterday that the Jathedar would not be allowed to address the Sikh community from the platform of Akal Takht.

Addressing the gathering, Giani Gurbachan Singh said, "The Sikh community across the world will remember the unhealed wounds of Operation Blue Star".

The memorial dedicated to those killed during the 1984 Army action on the Golden Temple witnessed a steady stream of visitors.

As many as 15 companies of paramilitary forces including CRPF, ITBP and RAF have been deployed in different parts of Punjab. Seven companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Amritsar.