In what appears as the arrival of Khalistanis close on the heels of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) declaring its intent to contest in elections in the state, Khalistan flags were found tied on the main gate and boundary wall of the Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh in Dharamshala this morning.
The police in Kangra were informed about the presence of Khalistan flags on the gates early morning. Pro-Khalistan slogans were found on the walls of the assembly complex located on the outskirts of Dharamshala.
Deputy Commissioner Dr Nipun Jindal confirmed the incident. He said that the police is scanning the CCTV footage of the nearby areas to identify and catch the culprits.
“Some miscreants had put up five to six Khalistani flags on the outer gate of the state legislative assembly at Tapovan and had written Khalistan Zindabad slogans on the wall. The flags have been removed and the writings have been cleared. Police have registered a case and an investigation is in progress,” he said.
The police said it looked like an act of Khalistanis alright, but they must be tourists from Punjab. A case against unidentified persons has been registered.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur condemned the act, saying, “If you have the courage, come out in the light of day, not in the dark of the night”.
“I condemn the cowardly act of putting up Khalistan flags at the gate of Dharamshala Assembly Complex. Only the Winter Session is held in this Assembly, so there’s a need for more security arrangements there during that time. The incident will be probed and strict action will be taken,” the chief minister tweeted.
The Himachal Pradesh government happens to be the first state administration to take action against Khalistanis when they were entering through the Punjab border and claiming parts of the province to be parts of Punjab. Himachal Pradesh banned vehicles carrying Bhindranwale and Khalsitani flags, which agitated the SFJ. The organisation had announced that it would hoist the Khalistani flag on 29 March but could not do so due to heavy security.
An intelligence alert issued on 26 April had mentioned that Khalistanis might raise the heat in Himachal Pradesh by announcing their arrival in the state in some way. The communiqué informed the state government that Sikh for Justice Chief Gurupatwant Singh Pannu had issued a letter to the Himachal Pradesh chief minister, stating that a flag of Bhindranwala and Khalistan would be hoisted in Shimla.