Operation Blue Star in India: a tragic memory

‘Operation Blue Star’ was an Indian military operation that took place from June 3 to 8, 1984, ordered by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, to take control of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex, the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar, Punjab; and to arrest Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed supporters in complex buildings. Bhindranwale had previously taken up residence in the Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980. Bhindranwale was the only ruler to have fought boldly for the genuine rights of the Sikhs.

The Indian army led by General Kuldip Singh Brar, supported by troops and armored vehicles, broke all records for state terrorism and extrajudicial killings thanks to this barbaric operation.

Many Sikhs left India to escape religious persecution. Sikhs have spread all over the world to keep the Khalistan movement alive. In this regard, their struggle continues

However, at that time there were only 251 Sikhs inside the complex to protect the Harmandir Sahib and resist the well-trained Indian army, equipped with sophisticated weaponry. At that time, the majority of Sikhs came to the temple complex to celebrate the Martyrs Day of Guru Arjun Dev.

Then the Indian regime used tanks and destroyed the Akaal Takht Sahib which is right in front of the Harmandir Sahib. On June 6, when all Sikh fighters were martyred along with Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Indian troops entered the temple complex with their shoes on, deliberately ignoring the sanctity of the place, showing total indecency. When the Indian army estimated that only 251 men had prevented them from entering the Harmandir Sahib for so many days, they began to kill innocent Sikhs who had come to visit the temple. The only purpose was to hide their humiliation.

In this regard, in their book, The Sikh struggle, Ramnarain Kumar and George Sieberer write: “The army killed all the Sikhs who were inside the temple complex. They were dragged out of the chambers, brought into hallways around the circumference of the temple, and, with their hands tied behind their backs, were shot in cold blood. Among the victims were many old people, women and children. However, all visitors were locked in rooms for two days without food, water or electricity and starved to death. In addition, the Harmandir Sahib remained under the control of the army for many months.

The brutality of “Operation Blue Star” was not limited to the Harmandir Sahib. The Indian armed forces simultaneously attacked 40 other historic gurdwaras throughout Eastern Punjab.

When Sikhs in other states learned of the desecration of the Harmandir Sahib and the slaughter of their brethren, they quickly left for the Punjab. New Delhi tried to stop them before they could reach the Punjab. Many Sikhs were murdered along the way and many more were arrested.

According to one estimate, around 50,000 Sikhs were killed in a matter of days. The whole city of Amritsar was sealed off and burned down. A number of tourists have been murdered or arrested. Sikh-owned shops have been looted and their homes set on fire by Hindu mobs. In most cases, Sikh women have been assaulted and some people in their community have also been burned.

Another tragic dimension of the operation is that historical Sikh artifacts, including all the literature written by the gurus, were also set on fire by the Indian military. But New Delhi has fabricated a false story by claiming it was set on fire, by bombing the Harmandir Sahib.

In the same year in November, two devoted Sikhs named Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, police officers who were stationed at the residence of Minister Ptine Indira Gandhi in New Delhi, murdered her. Then Hindu riots broke out in the capital and other cities in which over 15,000 Sikhs were murdered in broad daylight by Indira Gandhi supporters, while police silently watched to give Hindus carte blanche to massacre the Sikhs.

Nonetheless, the attack on the Harmandir Sahib and the genocide of the Sikhs accelerated the Khalistan liberation movement as Bhindranwale became a popular hero.

Meanwhile, after “Operation Blue Star” and the Sikh genocide, the Sikh struggle for independence continued, but the Indian government did everything possible to crush it with the state apparatus. . To maintain its control over the Harmandir Sahib, another attack was launched against the Temple in 1987, called “Operation Black Thunder”.

This time only the Sikh resistance, which was the natural outcome of the tragedy, was the main target. In this regard, a number of people from the community were killed and corpses remained inside the sacred place for several days.

According to a report, many trucks were loaded with corpses and all were burned with kerosene. Subsequently, “Operation Woodrose” and “Operation Black Thunder-II” were carried out against the Sikh community, who also extrajudicially murdered them.

After these barbaric operations, the Sikhs organized themselves into an armed power in order to combat Indian state terrorism. Many Sikhs left India to escape religious persecution. Sikhs have spread all over the world to keep the Khalistan movement alive. In this regard, their struggle continues.

We can conclude in the words of a renowned scholar, Dr Sangat Singh who writes in his book, Sikhs in history, “The Indian government has killed over a million to 1.2 million Sikhs. Since 1947, the Indian government has also killed 50,000 Christians and 100,000 Muslims. The only way to stop this state terrorism is to create a state of Khalistan, where Sikhs and other religious people can enjoy their freedom.

About Harold Hartman

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