An Analysis of the Causes and Flow of Events in Operation Blue Star!

Analysis | Causes | Events | Operation Blue Star | 07th July 2022 | Virtual Wire

 

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8th June 1984 was a black day for Indians and especially for the Sikh Community of India.

The community which plays a crucial role in providing nurture to the country had been badly affected. Frankly speakingself-interest, this was the result of a collectively and intentionally imposed series of misunderstandings between the Sikh community and the Indian Government by various national and international agents who posed to be India’s allies yet worked for self interest, besides power fanatics had their own agendas as well. Operation Blue star was a military operation carried out by the Indian army between the period of 1st June to 10th June 1984 in order to remove the militants of Damdami Taksal, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and their followers from the Golden temple complex.


The decision to launch this program was taken by the prime minister Indira Gandhi when all the measures for negotiating and curtailing the Khalistan formation movement had failed. The decision was taken 18 months prior as a back up just in case situations went out of control. The triggering spark of the incident was when Mr. Harchand Singh Longowal the president of Shiromani Akali Dal had asked Bhindranwale to reside in the Golden Temple to evade arrest by Central Governmnt.

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Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (born Jarnail Singh Brar;2 June 1947– 6 June 1984) was the fourteenth jathedar, or leader, of the prominent orthodox Sikh religious institution Damdami Taksal. He was an advocate of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, gaining national attention after his involvement in the 1978 Sikh-Nirankari clash. In the summer of 1982, Bhindranwale and the Akali Dal launched the Dharam Yudh Morcha ("righteous campaign"),with its stated aim being the fulfilment of a list of demands based on the Anandpur Sahib Resolution to create a largely autonomous state within India. Thousands of people joined the movement in the hope of retaining a larger share of irrigation water and the return of Chandigarh to Punjab.


1. RAW reports

It was reported by the research and analysis wing of the Central Government that prominent Khalistani Sikh figures Shabeg Singh , Balbir Singh and Amrik Singh had internal connections with Pakistan if an imminent war is near. The contacts were being kept from way back in 1981. Later after the Operation was over on interrogating Shabeg Singh was found to be the supplier of ammunitions am arms from Pakistan. While becoming a leader of Damdami Taksal Jarnail had developed close relations with the Punjabi

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Aristocrats who supported his bleak idea of making Khalistan as a separate country. RAW also clarified that various student training camps were being opened for training the students for participating in the Khalistani Movement in a serious warfare , these training camps were mainly concentrated in the Gurudwaras of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh as well. However Amrik Singh denied these claims as falsified and these training camps were mainly for giving training for Khalsa warfare and these had been existing prior to four decades before the claims were made.


2. KGB Falsified Report

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The Soviet Research Agency KGB had advised RAW of the increasing associations between the Khalistani Militants and Pakistan Research Agency ISI , with China and US providing sufficient support to the movement through CIA. It was also claimed that RAW had received a message from KGB that Pakistan had dispatched 1000 special commandos at the Punjab border to act in support of the Khalistani militants as and when situation arose. The Pakistani was mainly claimed to be coming from the Jammu route and the Kutch region of Gujarat. The 1981 Operation KONTAKT was tactically placed endeavor to totally misguide the Indian Government. It mainly comprised of producing false reports regarding the monetary supplies received by the Punjab Militant group , however the hidden agenda behind this trick by the so-called ally of India remains shrouded in mystery. Yuri Andropov, the secretary of the Soviet Communist Party played an important role in formulating the protocol in which the reports were to be arranged by. The Indian Government’s haste decision to launch an armed warfare on the movement was mainly because of this falsified report. On a lighter note it would be appropriate to say that Indira Gandhi was assassinated by KGB way more earlier than Sikhs had assassinated her. The Russian Government had successfully persuaded Rajiv Gandhi on his Moscow visit that the unity and the Integrity of India was in danger due to the Khalistani movement and Pakistan was playing an upper hand in supporting the rebel militants.


The Akal Takht ("Throne of the Timeless One") is one of five takhts (seats of power) of the Sikhs. It is located in the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in Amritsar, Punjab, India. The Akal Takht (originally called Akal Bunga) was built by Shri Guru Hargobind Ji as a place of justice and consideration of temporal issues; the highest seat of earthly authority of the Khalsa (the collective body of the Sikhs) and the place of the Jathedar, the highest spokesman of the Sikhs. The current Jathedar of Akal Takht appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is Singh Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh Ji, while the Sarbat Khalsa calls for the reinstitution of Giani Jagtar Singh Hawara.

The Damdamī Ṭaksāl is an orthodox Sikh cultural and educational organization, based in India. Its headquarters are located in the town of Mehta Chowk, approximately 40 km north of the city of Amritsar. It has been described as a seminary or “moving university” of the Sikh countryside. In 1706, after the Battle of Muktsar, the army of Guru Gobind Singh camped at Sabo Ki Talwandi. This acted as a damdamā, or halting place (lit. "breathing place"), and is now the site of Takht Sri Damdamā Sahib. That year, Guru Gobind Singh is said to have founded a distinguished school of exegesis, later headed up by Baba Deep Singh. Damdamā Sahib was considered to be the highest seat of learning for the Sikhs during the 18th century, and Damdami Taksal claims direct historical ties to Guru Gobind Singh.


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Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov (15 June 1914 – 9 February 1984) was the sixth paramount leader of the Soviet Union and the fourth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Following the 18-year rule of Leonid Brezhnev, Andropov served in the post from November 1982 until his death in February 1984. Earlier in his career, Andropov served as the Soviet ambassador to Hungary from 1954 to 1957, during which time he was involved in the suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He was named Chairman of the KGB on 10 May 1967. In this position, he oversaw a massive crackdown on dissent carried out via mass arrests and the involuntary psychiatric commitment of people deemed "socially undesirable".

Shabeg Singh, PVSM, AVSM (1925–1984), was an Indian Army officer who joined the Khalistan case under Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. During his military service in the Indian Army, he was involved extensively in the training of Mukti Bahini volunteers during the Bangladesh Liberation War. He had fought in other major wars as well like World War 2, 1947 Indo-Pak War and 1962 Indo-China War. He was dismissed from the army on the charges of corruption one day before his retirement, for which he sought redress in civil court, he had won all his court cases as the corruption case was that he had bought a 'Jhonga' on proxy. Later, Singh joined the Khalistan

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supporters, serving as an adviser and trainer for the militia forces.


A day before retirement, he was stripped of his rank without court-martial and denied his pension. Two charge sheets in an anti-corruption court were brought against him in Lucknow by India's Central Bureau of Investigation. Singh sought redress in civil courts, and was acquitted of the charges on February 13, 1984.[After his dismissal, Singh joined the Sikh leader of Damdami Taksal, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, where he served as Bhindranwale's military adviser. Singh had said that he had joined Bhindranwale due to the alleged humiliation he had received, which included being stripped of his pension despite all he had done for the country.


Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was an Indian politician and a central figure of the Indian National Congress. She was the 3rd prime minister of India and was also the first and, to date, only female prime minister of India. Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the 1st prime minister of India. She served as prime minister from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984, making her the second longest-serving Indian prime minister after her father. As prime minister, Gandhi was known for her political intransigency and unprecedented centralization of power.


She went to war with Pakistan in support of the independence movement and war of independence in East Pakistan, which resulted in an Indian victory and the creation of Bangladesh, as well as increasing India's influence to the point where it became the sole regional power of South Asia. Citing separatist tendencies, and in response to a call for revolution, Gandhi instituted a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 where basic civil liberties were suspended and the press was censored. Widespread atrocities were carried out during the emergency. In 1980, she returned to power after free and fair elections. After Gandhi ordered military action in the Golden Temple in Operation Blue Star, her own bodyguards and Sikh nationalists assassinated her on 31 October 1984.


The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is a centre-right-centric state political party in Punjab, India. The party is the second-oldest in India, after Congress, being founded in 1920. Although there are many parties with the description Akali Dal, the party that is recognized as "Shiromani Akali Dal ( Badal ) Aka Badal Dal " by the Election Commission of India is the one led by Sukhbir Singh Badal. The party has a moderate Punjabi agenda. On 26 September 2020, they left the NDA over the farm bills. but they again joined NDA as they said they were same from inside with RSS but Showcase Different Parameters to People of Punjab. Akali Dal considers itself the principal representative of Sikhs. Sardar Sarmukh Singh Chubbal was the first president of a unified proper Akali Dal, but it became popular under Master Tara Singh. Akali movement influenced 30 new Punjabi newspapers launched between 1920 and 1925.In the provincial election of 1937, the Akali Dal won 10 seats.

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Kuldip Brar, PVSM, AVSM, VrC (born 1934) is a retired Indian Army officer, who was involved in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. As a major general, he commanded Operation Blue Star. In 1984, Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, decided to deploy the army to flush militants along with Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his associates out of the Golden Temple at Amritsar complex. Lt. General Srinivas Kumar Sinha, Vice-Chief of the Indian Army, was initially tasked with leading the operation, but refused stating that he would like to present his views to the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi before proceeding, given his strong opinion that alternative means existed that didn't require a military siege of the Golden Temple. However, he was superseded and the operation was eventually tasked to K S Brar, along with Lt. General Krishnaswamy Sundarji (then chief of western army command) and Lt. General Ranjit Singh Dyal (then chief of staff in the command), who planned this operation codenamed Operation Blue Star.


The Guru Granth Sahib is the central holy religious scripture of Sikhism, regarded by Sikhs as the final, sovereign and eternal Guru following the lineage of the ten human gurus of the religion. The Adi Granth is first rendition, was compiled by the fifth guru, Guru Arjan (1564–1606). Its compilation was completed on 29 August 1604 and first installed inside Golden Temple in Amritsar on 1 September 1604. Baba Buddha was appointed the first Granthi of the Golden Temple. Shortly afterwards Guru Hargobind added Ramkali Ki Vaar. Later, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, added hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur to the Adi Granth and affirmed the text as his successor.

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This second rendition became known as the Guru Granth Sahib and is also sometimes referred to as the Adi Granth. The text consists of 1,430 angs (pages) and 5,894 shabads (line compositions), which are poetically rendered and set to a rhythmic ancient north Indian classical form of music. The bulk of the scripture is divided into 31 main rāgas, with each Granth rāga subdivided according to length and author. The hymns in the scripture are arranged primarily by the rāgas in which they are read. The Guru Granth Sahib is written in the Gurmukhi script, in various languages, including Lahnda (Western Punjabi), Braj Bhasha, Kauravi, Sanskrit, Sindhi and Persian. Copies in these languages often have the generic title of Sant Bhasha.


4. The Final Attack

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As the army pushed itself into the Akal Takht Complex it was seen that there was arsenal created for over several months after the operation was over the army reported that there grenade making factories and sten-gun manufacturing workshops inside the temple premises however the people present there and as well who survived denied any such claims. It was investigated that the trucks which were supposed to bring rationing for food supplies in the Gurdwara were filled with arms and ammunitions some of them having Chinese imprints on them. It was said by the national news that the army faced tremendous resistance once they entered the Takht complex but the survivors said that the Bhindrawale army didn’t fire any gun-shot unless provoked to do so.


On 3rd June 1984 a 36 hour curfew was called in Punjab but due to terrible mismanagement the tourists were locked inside the temple complex, there were a lot of falsified news being spread out that army had given chances to the tourists to move out but actually the tourists who were locked in there were subjected to terrible military torture being questioned about their relationship with the Bhindrawale and executed if proper answers were not given. After a grueling gun fighting between the Militants and the army the dead bodies of Bhindrawale and his commanders were taken out, there were a lot casualties on both sides with a lot innocent of women and children getting executed. Indira Gandhi paid the price of saving the country from disintegration by giving her life in the hands of her Sikh bodyguards who shot her nearly 34 times which is quiet uncannily equal to the number of times Indian army fired missiles at Harmandar Sahib. The Indian army was led by Kuldeep Singh Brar along Krishnaswamy Sundarji and Ranjit Singh Dyal.

Krishnaswamy "Sundarji" Sundararajan, PVSM (28 April 1928 – 8 February 1999), was the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1986 to 1988. He was the last former British Indian Army officer to command the Indian Army. During his army career, he had commanded the Operation Blue Star under orders from Indira Gandhi to clear the Golden Temple shrine. Widely respected as a scholar warrior, he was regarded as one of the most promising Generals of Independent India. He introduced a number of technology initiatives to the Indian Army. He was also questioned for his role in recommending the Bofors howitzer in the Bofors Scandal. As the Chief of Army Staff, he planned and executed Operation Brasstacks, a major military exercise, along the Rajasthan border. He was

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promoted to lieutenant general on 5 February 1979. In 1984, he led Operation Blue Star, intended to evict extremists who had occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Indian Army marched into the temple with their boots. He later said "We went inside with humility in our hearts and prayers on our lips". According to his wife, Sundarji emerged a changed man after this operation.


Ranjit Singh Dyal, PVSM, MVC (15 November 1928 – 29 January 2012) was an Indian Army general and an administrator. As a soldier, Ranjit Singh led the capture of the Haji Pir pass by the Indian army during the 1965 war with Pakistan. In 1984, Ranjit Singh Dyal was appointed the security adviser to the Governor of Punjab for the Operation Blue Star, and effectively had the overall charge of leading the assault. At that time, he was chief of staff of the Western Army Command. Along with Kuldip Sing Brar and Krishnaswamy Sundarji, he drew up the plans to evict the Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar of the Southern Command.



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