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Indira Gandhi was aware of her life threat: Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi: Indira Gandhi knew her life was at risk when she decided to go for militarily storm the Golden Temple, President Pranab Mukherjee reveals in the second part of his memoirs released on Thursday.

“The Turbulent Years, 1980-1996” (Rupa) says that “criminals, smugglers and anti-social elements” had joined the Khalistan movement and recalls that the Golden Temple had become a safe haven for them.

The President writes that talks with the Akali Dal failed due to its rigid stance, and last ditch efforts were made shortly before “Operation Blue Star” – as the military operation was codenamed – was launched.

Even a few days before Operation Blue Star, an attempt was made to find a solution by holding a meeting with the Akali Dal leaders who were brought from jail to the lounge of the Chandigarh airport at midnight.

“PV Narasimha Rao, Cabinet Secretary Krishnaswamy Rao Sahib and I represented the government in that meeting. Unfortunately, the talks remained unsuccessful,” he says in the book released at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by Vice President M Hamid Ansari.

By May 1984, it became increasingly clear that there was no alternative but military action to flush out the terrorists within the Golden Temple, particularly as the negotiations and discussions had not yielded the desired results.

The decision to storm the Golden Temple was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) but no official was present at the meet, Mukherjee writes.

Operation Blue Star was launched at the Golden Temple on June 3, 1984, with the army entering the premises.

Mukherjee then writes how Gandhi told him she was aware of the threat to her life.

“I still vividly recall Mrs Gandhi telling me, ‘Pranab, I know of the consequences.’  She understood the situation well and was clear that there was no other option.” he added.

“Aware that her own life was at risk, she took a conscious decision to go ahead in the best interest of the nation.”

Mukherjee defends the operation, calling the situation in Punjab at that time “abnormal”.

“It is easy to say that the military action could have been avoided. However, nobody really knows if any other option would have worked. Such decisions are always taken based on the conditions prevailing at that time. The situation in Punjab was abnormal.”

He adds that the “biggest tragedy” of the whole event was the “loss of Mrs Gandhi”.

Her last speech in Orissa, two days before her assassination, was prophetic. She said, ‘I am alive today, I may not be there tomorrow… I shall continue to serve until my last breath and when I die, I can say that every drop of my blood will invigorate India and strengthen it’.

Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984, at her Safdarjung Road residence in New Delhi by two of her bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star.( IANS)(Picture Courtesy: wikipedia)

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Google Removes ‘2020 Sikh Referendum’ App From Play Store

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh demanded Google to remove '2020 Sikh Referendum' app from [play store

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Google
Google removes this Anti-India app from play store. Pixabay

Acceding to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s demand, IT giant Google has removed the secessionist, anti-India mobile application ‘2020 Sikh Referendum’ from its Play Store, state officials said on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office said this app was not available any more on Google Play Store for mobile users in India.

The Chief Minister, who had also urged the Central government to persuade Google in the matter, had asked the Director General of Police to coordinate with Central security agencies to tackle the threat resulting from the launch of the app, created by ‘ICETECH’.

The app had asked the general public to register themselves to vote in the ‘Punjab Referendum 2020 Khalistan’.

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The app was removed from Google Play Store and their website was blocked. Pixabay

A website with the address of www.yes2khalistan.org was also launched on the same lines for the same purpose.

The Cyber Crime Centre of the Bureau of Investigation of Punjab had moved to get the app removed from the Google Play Store and the website blocked for usage in India.

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On November 8, a notice under Section 79 (3) B of the Information Technology Act was sent to the Google for removal of the mobile application, added the spokesperson. (IANS)