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On the 30th Anniversary of Operation Bluestar, Ensaaf presents an eyewitness account of the Indian Army attack on The Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Punjab, from June 1 and June 6, 1984. This exclusive interview reveals how the Indian Army intentionally killed thousands of civilians and used excessive force during this assault.

This was immensely heart wrenching....

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh 30 years ago, on 3rd June 1984, Indira Gandhi (a corrupt dictator of India who abused the rule of law) ordered the Indian army to conduct a Sikh Genocide a

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Was the Anandpur Sahib Resolution the real reason why the hindu led government in 1984 committed Sikh genocide? Was the Anandpur Sahib Resolution the re

Speech that gives me chills to this day.

operation-bluestar.jpg

Wednesday June 6th

After midnight tanks are used to break down the steps leading to the parkarma from the hostel side and an 8-wheeled Polish-built armored personnel carrier makes it’s way towards the Akal Takht. It is destroyed by a Chinese-made rocket propelled grenade launcher.

Six or more Vijayanta tanks enter the temple complex crushing the delicate marble inlays of the parkarma and plow their way towards the Akal Takht. Orders arrive and the tanks start firing their large 105mm cannons equipped with high explosive squash-head shells into the Akal Takht. These shells are designed for hard targets like armour and fortifications. When the shells his a target, their heads spread or squash on the hard surface. Their fuses are arranged to allow a short delay between the impact and the shells igniting, so that a shock-wave passes through the target and a heavy slab of armour or masonry is forced away from the inside of the target armour or fortification.

The effect on the Akal Takht, the most sacred of the five Takhts, is devastating. Over 80 shells are pumped into the sacred Gurdwara. The entire front of the Takht is destroyed and fires break out in many of the different rooms blackening the marble walls and wrecking the delicate decorations dating back to the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Marble inlays, plaster and mirror work, filigree partitions and priceless old wall paintings are all destroyed.

The gold dome of the Akal Takht is also badly damaged by artillery fire. At one stage a 3.7 inch Howitzer gun is mounted on the roof of a building behind the shrine and fired a number of times at the beautiful dome.

At the other end of the Temple complex on the easternmost side a battalion of the Kumaon Regiment were invading the hostel complex where many of the innocent pilgrims were in hiding as well as the temple administration staff. There was no water because the water tower had been destroyed and it was very hot.

(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.”

Around 1:00 am the Army entered the hostel and administrative buildings and ordered everyone out and made them sit in the courtyard of the Guru Ram Das Hostel. There were about 250 people who came out.

Prithipal Singh (Sevadar, Akal Rest House)

” At 2 a.m. on June 6 the Army people came to the Rest House. They tore off all my clothes, stripped me naked, my kirpan was snatched, my head gear (patta) was untied to tie up my hands behind my back. They caught me by my hair and took me along with five others – who were all pilgrims – to the ruins of the water tank, there we were told, “don’t move or you’ll be shot.” They kept hitting us with the rifle butts. Then a Major came and ordered a soldier, shoot them, then shouted at us, “You must be Bhindranwale’s Chelas? You want Khalistan? I said “I am here to do my duty. I have nothing to do with all this.” “Six of us were in a line facing the Major, when a Pahari soldier started shooting from one end, killing four of us (with 3 bullets each). As my turn was coming, suddenly a Sikh Officer turned up and ordered, “Stop Shooting”. Thus I was saved.”

(Bhan Singh)

“Suddenly there was a big explosion. All hell broke loose. It was pitch dark. People started running back into the verandah and the rooms. I and Abhinashi Singh were sitting next to Gurcharan Singh, the former Secretary of the Akali Dal whom Bhindranwale accused of murdering Sodhi. Gurcharan was shot as he tried to run inside. We realized that soldiers were shooting at us. They thought someone from among the crowd had exploded the grenade. But it was probably thrown by extremists on the water tank overlooking the Guru Ram Das Serai (Hostel). We ran to Tohra’s room and told Longowal what was happening. Longowal came out and shouted at the Major. He said, ‘Don’t shoot these people. They are not extremists. They are employees of the S.G.P.C.’ The Major then ordered his men to stop shooting. Later in the morning we counted at least seventy dead bodies in the compound. There were women and children too.”

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.

(Karnail Kaur, mother of 3 young children)

“When people begged for water some soldiers told them to drink the mixture of blood and urine on the ground.”

Many of the young men in the group of innocent unarmed civilians were then shot by the soldiers.

(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.”

By morning light, there is only sporadic sniper fire from the rubble of the Akal Takht. By late afternoon the army was firmly in control of the Temple complex and curfew was lifted for two hours to allow people who were still in hiding to come out.

(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.

Looking through the window-pane from the first floor of the Harmandir Sahib, I saw a tank standing on the parkarma with its lights on. I thought for a moment that it was the fire brigade come to collect water from the srowar (holy pool) to put out the fire which was raging in almost every room. A few minutes later my belief was shattered when I saw the vehicle emitting fire instead of putting it out. By 10:30 or so around 13 tanks had collected on the parkarma. They had come after crushing the staircase from the eastern wing where Guru Ram Das Serai, the Langer and the Teja Singh Samundari Hall are situated. One after another the cannon fire lit the sky. When the first shell hit the bottom of the Darshani Deorhi, creating a hole in it, I saw the room with the historic chandni (canopy) presented by Maharaja Ranjit Singh catching fire. One after another the big bombs hit the Darshani Deorhi in quick succession, and what was once a lovely building was now on fire. The Toshakhana (Treasury) was also on fire. Occasionally a bullet would hit the Harmandir Sahib. We were 27 people inside, mostly ragis (singers) and sevadars (temple servants).

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 book.

In the meanwhile the pounding of the Akal Takht was continuing. There was no let-up in the fire in other places either. We were thirsty and desperate for water. We crawled to the holy pool to get water for ourselves and for the wounded colleague.

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.”

Over 300 bullet holes were counted in the Golden Temple itself.

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.

(Narinderjit Singh Nada, Temple Public Relations Officer)

“On the fifth night, the night of the real assault, mortars started throwing up plaster. My wife and I and my two daughters decided to go down from our flat on the first floor to the office, which is on the ground floor. At this point I thought of surrendering but I was told by a Bhindranwale man, ‘One more step outside the complex and you are a dead man’. Faced with this threat to my entire family plus the insecurity of the office room, I decided to move down to a small basement where there was a fridge. An exhaust fan outlet in the basement proved a life saver. I could hear soldiers speaking outside and different instructions from their commanders. Next to the basement was another cubicle facing the Temple where a sewadar used to sleep. I heard the army drag out this man. He was shot. Since extremists had been using all possible openings as pill boxes and grenade launchers the soldiers decided to lob grenades into all such openings, including my fan outlet. The minute I heard the order we all moved under a staircase. Minutes later two grenades came in. The splinters took three inches away from most of the walls. But luckily we escaped. We spent the night under the staircase. Eventually at about 11 am on the 6th my wife noticed an officer standing outside. She called out to him to attract his attention and requested him to rescue us. She told him that she had two young daughters. The officer behaved decently and said, ‘Don’t worry I too have two daughters. Nothing will happen to you. Stay put.’ He organized chapattis, pickles and drinking water. He eventually let us out when curfew lifted.

We had to step over dead bodies strewn everywhere. We were taken to the square in front of the main clock tower entrance. The minute the soldiers saw me, a male member of the group, they positioned their rifles on their shoulders with the barrels pointing at me. I think they were about to shoot me when a brigadier who recognized me intervened. We were then led by soldiers across the parkarma to the library side. A lieutenant accompanied us. Upon reaching the other side he asked me to stand against the wall and lined up a firing squad. He asked me to say my prayers. I requested to say good-bye to my wife and the two daughters. At this point the brigadier showed up again and shouted at the young officer, ‘What the hell are you doing!’ The officer said, ‘Sir, I misunderstood your order. I thought this man was to be shot.’

Now we were made to sit on the ground. My hands were tied behind my back. We were about 70 in that lot. All of us were told to keep our heads down. A slight movement of the head resulted in a sharp rifle butt. We spent the whole night sitting there.”

Outside the Temple complex the army troops were on a rampage, killing and looting surrounding houses of Sikhs.

(Subhash Kirpekar, Journalist)

“On the way back to the hotel (afternoon of June 6th) I witnessed a scene at the Kotwali which is blood curdling. This is where some soldiers were kicking some of the 11 suspected terrorists as they knelt on their bare knees and crawled on the hot road surface.”

(Giani Chet Singh)

“The people were taken out of their houses. Men’s hands were tied with their turbans. Women’s necks were sought to be asphyxiated with their plaits. Then they were shot in the chests. No quarter was shown to women, aged or children; in the eyes of the troops every Sikh was a terrorist. Those who survived died of thirst. Their houses were ransacked, and then put on fire. The area surrounding Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) was full of debris. What happened is beyond description of sight, hearing or words.”

As night fell the Army troops were given the order to storm the remains of the Akal Takht and shoot on site anyone they found inside. The troops encounter little resistance and find dead bodies and the smell of death everywhere.

Source:neverforget84.com

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In the end the cruelty perpertrated by these daemons will be punishable under Dharam Raja, they do not realise what terrible karams they have amassed yet!!. As Guru Sahib writes in Babar Bani, no one will remember these miserable dogs and true achievement is his Who dieth unto his self And uttereth the holy Name.

(Rag Malar, ang.1288)

Deers, falcons and government officials are known to be trained and clever. When the trap is set, they trap their own kind; hereafter they will find no place of rest. He alone is learned and wise, and he alone is a scholar, who practices the Name. First, the tree puts down its roots, and then it spreads out its shade above. The kings are tigers, and their officials are dogs; they go out and awaken the sleeping people to harass them. The public servants inflict wounds with their nails. The dogs lick up the blood that is spilled. But there, in the Court of the Lord, all beings will be judged. Those who have violated the people's trust will be disgraced; their noses will be cut off.

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And remember an article that came out this year suggested that Indian commando's were sent by the RAW to be trained in israel and not by SAS in UK because of cost concerns.

And at the time in early 1980s Israel was committing genocide against Muslim Palestinians women and children civilians in Lebanon at refugees camps under the leadership of Ariel Sharon. So the same kind of strategy and evil mass murder thinking possible came from the Jewish Israeli input into the Indian mindset how to deal with their perceived enemies.

Good analysis. The Israelis were isolated in the world at the time due to the Palestinian issue and were desperate to make friends in the world. They helped India in return for their friendship. I think the Israelis helped India after 1984 in Punjab and then Kashmir. The massacres of Palestinians in the refugee camps in 1982 hit the Palestinians morale hard.

A Rediff story in 2003 revealed that the Indian external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had clandestine links with the Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency. When RAW was founded in 1968 by Rameshwar Nath Kao, he was advised by the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to cultivate links with Mossad

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In 1984 there was the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. All of the world's media would have been focused on Los Angeles. Does anyone know if there was any demonstration regarding the Sikh Genocide in front of the media in Los Angeles? I tried searching on Google but found nothing.

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA (June 9, 2014)—Sikhs from all over California and neighboring States held a massive rally at San Francisco’s Civic Center earlier today. Estimated 15,000 showed solidarity and demanded self-determination in Punjab, the Sikh homeland. Sikhs from cities as far as San Diego, Los Angeles, Reno, Redding and Yuba City were present. Attendance by such a large number from Sikhs also seemed to have surprised the organizers. Several of BART’s trains were filled by Sikhs from the Bay Area.

Read more - http://www.sikh24.com/2014/06/15000-sikhs-hold-rally-in-san-francisco-seeking-self-determination-in-punjab/#.U5XkD2E2zcs

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Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

UK’s National Union of Journalists want Government to set up public inquiry into 1984 Amritsar massacre.

London, United Kingdom (June 12, 2014): The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for a public inquiry and full disclosure of government papers relating to the Amritsar massacre of 1984.

Andy-Smith-and-John-McDonnell-300x200.jp

A delegation led by Andy Smith, NUJ joint-president, and John McDonnell MP to Downing Street delivered a letter to the Prime Minister setting out the union’s concerns.

David Cameron ordered a review by Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, after letters from the National Archives were published revealing that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had sent an SAS military officer to advise India on a plan to retake the Golden Temple, the Sikh religion’s holiest site, in Amritsar.

The number of deaths resulting from the assault is disputed. The figure given by the Indian government was 400, but Sikhs believe thousands were killed.

The letter, signed by Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, questioned the narrow terms of Sir Jeremy’s review and listed a series of questions relating to the incident and events leading up to the massacre.

The letter noted the US-based NGO, Ensaaf had recently released eyewitness account of the army attack, A witness among the bodies: Surviving Bluestar, which painted a completely different picture from the one originally presented at the time.

The letter concluded by asking the PM to raise issues of transparency with his new Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi. Full text of letter

The NUJ’s Delegate Meeting, in April, voted for the establishment of a judge-led inquiry into all the documents and events relating to India, covering the whole of 1984.

Andy Smith said:

“The NUJ has called for a full and proper review of the events leading up to the raid on the Golden Temple and the role played by the British government. There are many important questions that need to be answered. The whole affair also highlights the default position of all governments which is seems to be to cover up rather than reveal the facts. The British people should have the right to full disclosure on how its government acts and has acted in their name.”

The full delegation included Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, prospective Labour candidate for Gravesend, Parvinder Singh, NUJ Book branch, and Phil Miller, a researcher and journalist whose disclosures led to the review.

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