Days after Patiala clash, a look back at history of enmity between Shiv Sena and Khalistani groups in Punjab
Two groups clashed during an anti-Khalistan rally taken out by local Shiv Sena leaders in Punjab’s Patiala on Friday. But hostilities between Khalistani groups and the Shiv Sena in Punjab are not new.
On Friday, two groups clashed near Kali Mata temple in Punjab’s Patiala. The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), who were carrying out a march against Khalistani groups in Patiala, clashed with members of some Sikh organisations. Stones were hurled and swords were brandished in the incident.
Hostilities between Khalistani groups and right-wing Hindu organisations including the Shiv Sena are not a new phenomenon.
SHIV SENA IN PUNJAB
Punjab witnessed a mushrooming of right-wing Hindu groups after Operation Blue Star in 1984.
Most of these groups were inspired by Bal Thackeray-led Shiv Sena. There are over 15 active Shiv Sena groups in various parts of Punjab.
These groups include Shiv Sena Samajwadi, Shiv Sena Hindu Bhayia, Shiv Sena Hindustan, Shiv Sena Hind, Shiv Sena Inqilaab, Shiv Sena Amritsar, Rashtrawadi Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena Punjab, Shiv Sena Takshali, Shiv Sena Bhagwaan, Shiv Sena Kesari, Shiv Sena Hindu and Shiv Sena Akhand Bharat.
SHIV SENA, KHALISTANI GROUPS
In the 1980s and 1990s, many Shiv Sena and right-wing Hindu leaders were allegedly killed by Khalistani terror groups.
Khalistani leader Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale reportedly used to target Hindu right-wing organisations in his speeches.
In February 2015, a clash was reported in Amristar between Shiv Sainiks and Khalistani supporters. This occurred when Shiv Sainiks were trying to burn the effigy of Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale.
In April 2021, Shiv Sena Hindu president Nishant Sharma was arrested for making a provocative speech against a particular community.
Meanwhile, Amritsar-based Shiv Sena leader Sudheer Suri was accused of hurting religious sentiments of the Sikh community by making remarks against Sikh gurus in July last year.
Khalistani supporter Bhupindra Singh was also booked for hurting sentiments of Hindus in July 2021.