The Himachal Pradesh government has ruled that vehicles with flags bearing photos of extremist Bhindranwale will not be allowed to enter the state. In the recent past, people in the districts of Jwalamukhi and Mandi had objected to flags bearing Bhindranwale’s images on vehicles arriving from Punjab. Subsequently, vehicles bearing Himachal numbers were stopped at the entry point of on the Bilaspur border.
Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur said the matter had been taken up with Punjab. “We have high regard for the Nishan Sahib symbol and anyone is welcome to use it, but flags with pictures of Bhindranwale will not be tolerated,” he said.
Videos of some Sikh men from Ner Chowk claiming that the area of Himachal Pradesh was a part of Punjab had gone viral. In retaliation, youths of Mandi posted their resentment against such acts.
DGP Sanjay Kundu said he would take up the issue with his Punjab counterpart so that there was no escalation of tension between the people of the two states or communities.
He said there had been no provocation from anyone in Himachal Pradesh, a “peaceful state”. People from all faiths live here peacefully. So far, no police case has been lodged either in Punjab or Himachal Pradesh, he said.
Himachal Pradesh welcomes pilgrims of all faiths whether Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians or others but any kind of provocation, which can result in communal disharmony, will not be allowed.Statement from the DGP
Meanwhile, Prem Kaushal, spokesman for HPCC, said in Hamirpur that vehicles with flags and photos of Bhindranwale would spread fear and a sense of insecurity among people of Himachal. He urged the government to take stringent action against such vehicles.