Violent clashes broke out on Friday morning in a temple complex which houses the holiest Sikh shrine, injuring at least a dozen people.

The clashes between Sikh groups broke out in the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India's Punjab state, on the 30<sup>th anniversary of the controversial entry of the Indian army inside the holy shrine.

The army operation, titled 'Operation Bluestar,' was meant to drive out armed terrorists supporting separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the temple complex regarded as a holy place by Sikhs around the world.

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered the operation, was killed by her Sikh body guards in retaliation months later.

Friday's clashes were triggered when a radical Sikh group's leader attempted to make a speech from the rostrum of the Akal Takht, one of the five most important seats of power in the Sikh religion, and chanted slogans supporting Khalistan, or independent Sikh homeland.

Simranjit Singh Mann, a separatist leader and the head of the hardline faction Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar, tried to grab the microphone from the head priest of the Akal Takht when the ceremony commemorating the army operation began.

The task force volunteers from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which manages the temple complex, objected to this, triggering the clash. Local media reported that swords and other traditional weapons were used by both sides.

As both sides brandished weapons and chased each other devotees at the temple complex ran out for safety and shopkeepers in the vicinity lowered shutters, India Today reported. News photographers were also targeted by the clashing groups, the report said.

Police detained more than hundred activists of the radical group, bringing the ruckus to an end, reports said.

Mann, who evaded arrest, reiterated his view that the formation of Khalistan was the only solution.

The separatist movement in Punjab in the 1980s had claimed as many as 25,000 lives.