Amritsar - Operation Bluestar

Operation Bluestar

The terrorist campaign by Bhindranwale and the All India Sikh Students Federation, headed by Amrik Singh, began on 24 April 1980 with the assassination of the head of the Nirankari sect. The killing of many Nirankaris, dissident Akalis and Congress workers followed this. In September 1981, Lala Jagat Narain, editor of a popular newspaper and a critic of Bhindranwale, was killed. Gaini Zail Singh who had in 1980 become the home minister at the Centre shielded Bhindranwale from government action. To protect himself, Bhindranwale moved in July 1982 to the sanctuary of Guru Nanak Niwas, a building within the Golden Temple complex from where he directed the campaign of terrorism in Punjab.

Till September 1983, terrorist killings were confined to Nirankaris, petty government officials and Sikhs who disagreed with Bhindranwale. A new dimension to terrorist activity was added when from September 1983 he started targeting Hindus on an increasing scale, and indiscriminate killing of Hindus began. He also organized the looting of local banks, jewellery shops and home guard armouries, the killing of Nirankaris and government officials and random bomb explosions. In April 1983, A.S. Atwal, a Sikh deputy inspector-general of police, was killed just as he was coming out of the Golden Temple after offering his prayers. Bhindranwale also gave a call for a separation from and an armed struggle against the Indian state, emphasizing the separateness and sovereignty of Sikhs.

Fearing arrest, in December 1983, Bhindranwale moved into the safe haven of the Akal Takht within the Golden Temple and made it his headquarters and armoury and a sanctuary for his terrorist followers, many of whom were criminals and smugglers. He smuggled on a large-scale light machine-guns and other sophisticated arms into the Temple, and set up workshops there for fabricating sten-guns, hand grenades and other arms. He erected pillboxes in and around the Akal Takht and other buildings, where he provided weapons training to new recruits and from where he sent out death squads and conducted his campaign of murders, bombings and loot. A large number of other gurudwaras were also used as sanctuaries and bases for terrorist activities.

Operation Bluestar (3– 6 June 1984) was an Indian military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India to remove sikh terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The operation was carried out by Indian army troops with tanks and armoured vehicles. Militarily successful, the operation aroused immense controversy, and the government's justification for the timing and style of the attack are highly debated. Operation Blue Star was included in the Top 10 Political Disgraces by India Today magazine.

Official reports put the number of deaths among the Indian army at 83. In addition, the CBI is considered responsible for seizing historical artifacts and manuscripts in the Sikh Reference Library before burning it down. . Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards in what is viewed as an act of vengeance. Following her assassination, more than 5000 Sikhs were killed in anti-Sikh pogroms. Within the Sikh community itself, Operation Blue Star has taken on considerable historical significance and is often compared to what Sikhs call 'the great massacre'.

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Other articles related to "operation bluestar, operation":

Brahma Chellaney - Notable Work - Coverage of Operation Bluestar
... he covered, as AP correspondent, the June 1984 Indian security operation, known as Operation Bluestar, to flush out heavily armed Sikh militants holed up ... by several other Indian publications and by the army general who commanded Operation Bluestar, Krishnaswamy Sundarji ... Chellaney's death toll of nearly 1,200 in that operation ...
Canadian Sikhism - History - Operation Bluestar - Civil Unrest
... The main suspects in the bombing were the members of a Sikh separatist group called the Babbar Khalsa and other related groups who were at the time agitating for a separate Sikh state called Khalistan in Punjab, India ... In September 2007, the Canadian commission investigated reports, initially disclosed in the Indian investigative news magazine Tehelka that an hitherto unnamed person, Lakhbir Singh Brar Rode had masterminded the explosions ...
Punjab Insurgency - Operation Bluestar
... Operation Bluestar which occurred between 3rd–8 June 1984 was an Indian military operation, ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, to eliminate Jarnail ... Indira Gandhi ordered the army to storm the temple complex in Punjab.Operation Blue Star was a mixed success ... of innocent people killed in the operation range from a few hundred of people ...

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