What happened in Delhi? October 31, 1984: –9.20 am: Indira Gandhi was shot by two of her security guards at her residence –11 am: Announcement on All India Radio specifying that the guards who shot Indira Gandhi were Sikhs.
4 pm: Rajiv Gandhi returned from West Bengal and reached AIIMS. Stray incidents of attacks on Sikhs in and around that area. 5.30 pm: The cavalcade of President Zail Singh, who returned from a foreign visit, was stoned
Late evening and night: Mobs fanned out in different directions from [the hospital]. The violence against Sikhs spread. The violence included the burning of vehicles and other properties of Sikhs. That happened even in VIP areas like the crossroads near Prithviraj Road where cars and scooters belonging to Sikhs were burnt.
Despite all these developments, no measures were taken to control the violence or prevent further attacks on Sikhs throughout the night between October 31 and November 1.
November 1, 1984: Several Congress leaders held meetings on the night of October 31 and morning of November 1, mobilising their followers to attack Sikhs on a mass scale. The first killing of a Sikh reported from east Delhi in the early hours of November 1. About 9 am, armed mobs took over the streets of Delhi and launched a massacre. Everywhere the first targets were Gurudwaras – to prevent Sikhs from collecting there and putting up a combined defence.
Mobs were armed with iron rods of a uniform size. Activist editor Madhu Kishwar saw some of the rods being distributed among the miscreants. Mobs also had an abundant supply of petrol and kerosene. Victims traced the source of kerosene to dealers belonging to the Congress party. For instance, a Congress worker called Brahmanand Gupta, a kerosene dealer, figures prominently in affidavits filed from Sultanpuri.
Every police station had a strength of about 100 men and 50-60 weapons. Yet, no action was taken against miscreants in most places. The few places where the local police station took prompt measures against mobs, hardly any killings took place there. Farsh Bazar and Karol Bagh are two such examples. But in other localities, the priority of the police, as it emerges from the statement of the then police commissioner S.C. Tandon before the Nanavati Commission, was to take action against Sikhs who dared to offer resistence. All the Sikhs who fired in self-defence were disarmed by the police and even arrested on trumped up charges.
Most of the mobs were led by Congress members, including those from affluent families. For instance, a Youth Congress leader called Satsangi led a mob in the posh Maharani Bagh. The worst affected areas were however far flung, low income colonies like Trilokpuri, Mongolpuri, Sultanpuri and Palam Colony.
November 2,1984: Curfew was in force throughout Delhi – but only on paper. The Army was also deployed throughout Delhi but nowhere was it effective because the police did not co-operate with the soldiers who were not empowered to open fire without the consent of senior police officers or executive magistrates. Meanwhile, mobs continued to rampage with the same ferocity.
November 3,1984: It was only towards the evening of November 3 that the police and the Army acted in unison and the violence subsided immediately after that. Whatever violence took place the next two or three days was on a much smaller scale and rather sporadic.
Aftermath of the carnage: Most of the arrested miscreants were released at the earliest. But the Sikhs arrested for firing in self-defence generally remained in detention for some weeks. Worse, there was also a pattern throughout Delhi of the police not registering proper cases on the complaints of victims.
Since the Partition riots of 1947, there has not been a single carnage anywhere in India on the scale seen in 1984. I t took 6 Months for the Government to accede to the inquiry demand. Though the massacre took place in the first three days of November 1984, the inquiry was appointed only on April 26, 1985. The Government was however prompt in ordering an inquiry into Indira Gandhi’s assassination, which had triggered the massacre. It took just four days to announce a judicial inquiry into the assassination.
The Bharatiya Janata Party contradicted the Government’s claim then that only 600 people were killed in the Delhi carnage. On the basis of a survey done by its cadres, the BJP came out with a death toll of 2,700, which is remarkably close to the official tally of 2,733 arrived at three years later.
The Beginning – Freedom Struggle Punishment suffered Hanged9328121 Imprisoned for life21474992646 killed at Jallianwalla Bagh7995011300 Killed at Budge Budge Khat6746113 Killed in Kooka Movement91- Killed in Akali Movement500- Grand total369710744771 Total Non SikhsSikhs
The Independence - Conference in England 1946 The Sikh reps.Tara Singh, Kartar Singh, Harnam Singh & Baldev Singh, stood for a united India, but if it was to be divided then they would want a separate Sikh State. "a province where the Sikhs were in a dominant or almost a dominant position," and this should be free to federate either with Hindustan or Pakistan. There should be a transfer of population under government auspices and said that within five or ten years nearly all the Sikh population could be concentrated in the proposed Khalistan.
Sikh Killings in Pakistan As august 1947 approached Pakistani Muslim started slaughtering Sikhs in Rawalpindi and Lahore Districts to get rid of them from Pakistan. On August 15, Punjab was split. 2 million Sikhs were left in Pakistan. Those who moved after Aug 15- faced murder and despoliation.
Promises… "...in future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs" (The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31, 1929) "...the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom." (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930)
"I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. Let God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you (the Sikhs). When pressed further Gandhi said that Sikhs would be justified in drawing their swords out of the scabbards as Guru Gobind Singh had asked them to, if Congress would renege on its commitment." - (Mohandas Gandhi, Young India, March 19, 1931)
"...Master Tara Singh saw me on his return from Delhi, and seemed really concerned at the approaching departure of the British. He demanded Khalistan, with transfer of population, or a new state from Jumna to Chenab, in which the Sikhs would not be oppressed" - (Sir E. Jenkins, Governor of the Punjab, 15th April, 1946)
After 1947 " To preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-kror [ 20 millions ] Sikhs, we will do so. –(Balram Jhakhar, a colleague of P.V. Narsimharao, the former Indian Prime Minister)
" The Sikhs are a lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus... The [Government] should take strict measures against them." (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, on Sikhs) Kya main taqat dushman (the enemy - the Sikhs) ke haath main de dun (How can I entrust power into the hands of the enemies).“ (Jawahar Lal Nehru, 1961)
" I hate the very physique of a Sikh because of the turban and beard. " (Vallabh Bhai Patel, late Indian top politician) "I don't give a damn if the Golden Temple and whole of Amritsar are destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead." (Indira Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, communicating with Gen. Vaidya during "Operation Blue Star")
"We have broken the back of the Sikhs and we will get them elsewhere." (M. M. K. Wali, Indian Foreign Secretary, June 7, 1984, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio 740, As It Happens) "Let us teach these bastards (the Sikhs) a lesson.“ (Rajiv Gandhi, October 31, 1984)
"... a threat to the villagers that all males would be killed and their women taken to army camps to breed a new race if there was any militant activity in their village." (Brig. R. P. Sinha, Indian Army, March 8, 1991) "You do not know the might of our armed forces. We will eliminate 10,000 Sikh youths and the world will know nothing about it.“ (Chander Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India, CK, 21st October, 1991)
The Fight for our rights. It began in 1950 when R.S.S. and Arya Samaj Declared Punjab as a Hindu state with Hindi as its state language. Golden Temple was refused Holy Status by Indian Govt. A new Hindu temple was built in Amritsar and immediately given the Holy status.
Sikhs were continually alienated from Govt. and the policies made by the Govt. were entirely anti-sikh. The ‘Arya Samaj’ published “Satyarath Prakash” –Sikhs: Page 443 (chapter IX) Guru Nanak did not possess any learning... he wanted to show that he had some pretensions to the knowledge of Sanskrit... anxious to gain public applause, fame and glory... He was vain... resorted to gain reputation and acquire fame. Page 446... if Sikhs were to read vedas, they would no doubt embrace vedic religion
The anti-Sikh mentality of former Home Minister Gulzarilal Nanda, and former Prime Minister Charan Singh are perhaps due to their origin in Arya Samaj and also responsible for influencing the usually impartial attitude of the Congress towards minorities.
The Sikh Demands of 1953 1.Chandigarh to be declared capital of Punjab. (Like Bombay was returned to Maharashtra in 1960 after depriving them for 4 years). 2.River-water dispute should be referred to the Supreme Court. 3.Appointment of a commission of linguistic experts to go into the territorial claims by Punjab and Haryana, treating each village as a unit and the language actually spoken and contiguity as the sole criteria. 4.Return of 3 Punjab thermal-head-works back to Punjab administration. 5.Removal of discrimination in the Armed Forces by lifting the limit of 2% on Sikh recruitment. 6.Enactment of All India Gurdwara Act, covering historical Gurdwaras.
Continuing Struggle After 18yrs of suffering – Punjab was officially formed as a state. Haryana was split from Punjab in 1961. Punjab was the last state to be formed. Chandigarh was given to Haryana. Darshan Singh Pheruman fasted for 74 days before dieing to take back Chandigarh.
January 26, 1970 Sant Fateh Singh, President of Shiromani Akali Dal went on fast declaring that if demand for restoring Chandigarh to Punjab is not met, he would burn himself alive On February 1, 1970 the Government announced its decision to hand over Chandigarh to Punjab, in lieu of areas of Fazilka and Abohar Tehsil to Haryana.
Demands of 73 On October 16, 1973 "The Anandpur Sahib Resolution." regional autonomy for punjab return of Chandigarh to Punjab special status for Sikhs in the Indian union a supreme court review of Punjab river waters, return of the Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab, return of the administration of the Punjab Electric Board as well as the three thermal headworks to Punjab provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab and some minor religious demands
Massacre of 1978 Nirankari Cult with the help of the Congress and Arya Samaj stormed Golden Temple. Their Leader Gurbachan was provided with a DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT, to spread his anti-sikh message.
Gurbachan openly declared that he would put his foot on the Guru Granth Sahib, claimed that the 11th Guru was just a bundle of papers and that he was the real Guru. Vaisakhi 1978, they held a procession [in Golden Temple] shouting filthy slogans against the Satguru and shouting insults at the Sikh religion.
About 125 GurSikhs decided to hold a peaceful protest against the procession of Nirankaris The GurSikhs asked the Police to try and stop the Nirankaris. In Return- Nirankaris along with police armed with Machine Guns, Spears, hand-made Bombs, Axes & Acid bottles attacked the unarmed GurSikhs.
Among the killed was Babbar Khalsa, Several AKJ leaders along with other GurSikhs. SGPC issued a resolution banning Nirankaris and urging every Sikh to stop them. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale took on this task.
Nirankari Leader, Gurbachan escaped to UK, then Canada. Later he was arrested and given a trial and then acquitted even after 10 witnesses went against him He was Gunned down on April 24, 1980
From 1977 to 1983, Bhindrenwale led his agitation against Arya Samajis and other fanatic Hindu organizations who were working against Sikhs as well as many Sikhs who were working with Hindu extremists. Many of his followers were young rural Sikhs, who had been disappointed with state and central government due to unemployment, poverty and other problems.
The Revenge With a view to win over Hindu majority of North India and Punjab, Indira Gandhi mischievously exploited the anti-Nirankari movement in Punjab to create communal antagonism between Sikhs and Hindus in 1980. State terrorism against devout Amritdhari Sikhs was started in Punjab through her stooge Chief Minister of Punjab, Darbara Singh, during 1982. As a reaction to the Police terrorism on Sikhs, the devout Sikhs started taking revenge on Police and officials who ordered persecution of Sikhs in 1982-83.
In October 1983, the Government imposed President's Rule Punjab. From October 1983 to June 1984, is a story of political manipulations and mischievous designs on the part of Indira Gandhi to destroy the Sikh faith and exterminate the Sikh people with a view to win over Hindu votes in India.
Betrayal of Akali Dal the saddest thing for the Sikhs to happen: Almost all the Akali leaders betrayed the Sikhs and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale for their selfish ends and had secret meetings with representatives of Mrs.Indira Gandhi. They reached a secret understanding with her; they would not stand in her way if she used armed forces to attack Golden Temple complex and destroy Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his associates. All that they wanted in return were minister and chief minister positions for themselves.
Blue Star June 3, 1984, the Martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev: that was the day the Army chose to surround Guru Arjun's temple. The onslaught started two days later on the night of June 5 around 7 p.m. The total number of people killed during Operation Blue Star at Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab and other gurudwaras as well as the marching villagers and Army deserters is more than 12,000 in numbers.
May 25 th - 100,000 troops surrounded several GWs in Punjab June 1 st – 1000s of pilgrims gathered to celebrate the martydom day of Guru Arjan Dev ji. –Police Fires on the Langar hall leaving 11 dead and 25 injured. June 3 rd – Communications cut off from Punjab. Phone lines are cut throughout Punjab isolating it from the world. Journalists are expelled. Road blocks were placed. 10,000 people were trapped in Golden Temple.
June 4- Firefight lasts 5 hrs. 100 ppl die on both sides. June 5- Invasion begins. Troops enter and are turned back due to gunfire. Commandoes enter and forced to retreat. June 6th- 13 Tanks enter the complex and attack Akal Takhat with the 105 mm highly explosive squash-head shells. 80 shells were fired at Akal Takhat
Witnesses (Bhan Singh, Secretary of S.G.P.C.) "They cut our electricity and water supplies. It was very hot in the rooms. There was no water. We had only two plastic buckets of water. Longowal had to place two people as guards over the buckets. Many people would squeeze their undershirts to drink their sweat to quench their thirst.“ Among the dead were 35 women and 5 children. The survivors were made to sit in the courtyard of the Guru Ram Das Hostel until curfew was lifted the next evening. They were not given any food, water or medical aid. People drank whatever water was in puddles in the courtyard from the blown up water tank. "When people begged for water some soldiers told them to drink the mixture of blood and urine on the ground." (Karnail Kaur, mother of 3 young children)
(Bhan Singh) "I saw about 35 or 36 Sikhs lined up with their hands raised above their heads. And the major was about to order them to be shot. When I asked him for medical help, he got into a rage, tore my turban off my head, and ordered his men to shoot me. I turned back and fled, jumping over the bodies of the dead and injured, and saving my life crawling along the walls. I got to the room where Tohra and Sant Longowal were sitting and told them what I had seen. Sardar Karnail Singh Nag, who had followed me, also narrated what he had seen, as well as the killing of 35 to 36 young Sikhs by cannon fire. All of these young men were villagers."
(Ranbir Kaur, School Teacher) "Early on the sixth morning the army came into the Guru Ram Das Serai and ordered all of those in the rooms to come out. We were taken into the courtyard. The men were separated from the women. We were also divided into old and young women and I was separated from the children, but I managed to get back to the old women. When we were sitting there the army released 150 people from the basement. They were asked why they had not come out earlier. They said the door had been locked from the outside. They were asked to hold up their hands and then they were shot after 15 minutes. Other young men were told to untie their turbans. They were used to tie their hands behind their backs. The army hit them on the head with the butts of their rifles."
(Sujjan Singh Margindpuri) "The young men and some other pilgrims were staying in Room Number 61. The army searched all the rooms of the Serai. Nothing objectionable was found from their room. Nor did the army find anything objectionable on their persons. The army locked up 60 pilgrims in that room and shut not only the door but the window also. Electric supply was disconnected. The night between June 5th and June 6th was extremely hot. The locked-in young men felt very thirsty after some time, and loudly knocked on the door from inside to ask the army men on duty for water. They got abuses in return, but no water. The door was not opened. Feeling suffocated and extremely thirsty, the men inside began to faint and otherwise suffer untold misery. The door of the room was opened at 8 am on June 6th. By this time 55 out of the 60 had died. The remaining 5 were also semi- dead."
Giani Puran Singh) "I went to the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) on 5th June around 7:30 in the evening because I had to ensure that religious ceremonies were performed. The moment I stepped on to the parkarma I stumbled across a body. Bullets were flying and I had to take shelter behind each and every pillar to reach the Darshani Deorhi. Another body was lying there. I ran a few yards and reached the Akal Takht. Night prayers start at Harmandir Sahib five minutes after they start at the Akal Takht. I wanted to find out if the path (recitation) had started there. I had a glimpse of Bhindranwale. We did not speak to each other. Around 7:45 I came out of the Akal Takht and ran into the Darshani Deorhi. I ran towards Harmandir Sahib, unmindful of the bullets flying past my ears. I began night prayers. Soon a colleague of mine, Giani Mohan Singh, joined me. Seeing the intensity of the fire we decided to close all the doors, barring the front door. Soon we completed all religious rites. We then took the Guru Granth Sahib to the top room to prevent any damage to the holy book. The Head Priest, Giani Sahib Singh, had given clear instructions that under no circumstances was the Guru Granth Sahib to be taken to the Akal Takht if the conditions were not right.
In the early hours of the morning of 6th June we took the holy book down and performed the religious rites that are performed every day, like maharaj da prakash karna (unfolding the holy book) and reciting hymns from the scriptures. The two side-doors were closed and the front and back doors were open. Bullets kept hitting the wall both inside and outside, ripping off the gold surface at various places. Soon after we finished reciting prayers one of our colleagues, Ragi Avtar Singh was hit. We pulled him into a corner. Another bullet came and hit the holy Granth Sahib. We have preserved this Granth ji.
Around 5pm they announced on loudspeakers that those hiding in the Harmandir Sahib should come out and that they would not be shot dead. While myself and Giani Mohan Singh remained inside, others walked out with the arms above their heads." With the lifting of the curfew innocent Sikhs thought that by coming out from hiding they would now be safe. Sadly this was not the case.
Brahm Chellany, the only foreign correspondent who managed to remain in Amritsar after the government had ordered them out, reported the statements of doctors and police officials that many of the Sikhs killed in the attack had been shot at point-blank range with their hands behind their backs, Execution Style. Some of these bodies with hands tied behind the back were photographed.
This is also borne out by the testimonies of survivors. While the Darbar Sahib was under attack, other Army units were battling their way into 74 other gurudwaras in Punjab. In their book, "The Sikh Struggle," Ramnarain Kumar and Georg Sieberer write: "The Army which had suffered a heavy toll in three days of battle went berserk and killed every Sikh who could be found inside the temple complex. They were hauled out of the rooms, brought to corridors on the circumference of the temple and with their hands tied behind their back, were shot in cold blood. Among the victims were many old men women and children."
2500 copies of Guru Granth Sahib jee were set on fire in the Golden Temple library by the Indian army.
The Aftermath Indira Gandhi who ordered the attack was killed in Nov 84 by her body guards, who visited the Golden Temple in June and vowed to take revenge. Beant Singh who had shot her was killed on spot, other two helpers were hanged to death.
United Sikh Students of NJIT ------------2003------------ Thx to the following websites: http://www.panthkhalsa.org http://waheguroo.com http://www.sikhs.org/ http://www.maboli.com/ http://www.sikh-history.com/ http://www.sikhlionz.com/ http://sikhtoons.com/