Operation Bluestar – 10 days. June 1984-timeline.
The day dawned with the graveyard like silence in Punjab as no human being was visible on the streets, on the roads and in the village streets except the Army, CRPF. BSF personnel and the police who roamed about every where to ensure imposition of total Martial Law in the state.
Lt. General Krishna Swamy Sunderji, the General Officer Commander-in-Chief, Western Command, was made the overall in-charge of the Operation Blue Star. His immediate subordinate was Lt. General Ranjit Singh Dyal. They drew up the foolproof plan to carry out the military operation. They set up the Command Headquarters in the Kotwali opposite the main entrance of the Golden Temple Complex to execute and monitor the military attack on the magnificent Golden Temple Complex.
At Delhi, too. a Control Room was set up under the over all Command of Rajiv Gandhi to keep track of the battle. He was assisted by Arun Singh, his most trusted aide, and K.P. Singh Deo, the Deputy Defence Minister.
Major General KS Brar – the liar.
K.S. Brar was a clean shaven Sikh and, therefore, he could not be called a devout Sikh and so was Arun Singh, a scion of the ex-royal family of Kapurthala State. R.S. Dayal was allegedly a follower of the Nirankari Mandal. the sect which is the sworn enemy of Dam Dami Taksal and Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Rajiv Gandhi’s views about the Sikhs are well known. He was a megalomaniac son of a megalomaniac mother and was always a strong votary of military action against the Sikhs and wanted to teach them a lesson. This was the wicked mental frame of the Hindu leaders who ruthlessly conducted and monitored the brutal military operation against the people whom they claim to be an integral part of their Hindu society. By late night the Army tightly and closely sealed all routs of ingress and exit around the Golden Temple Complex so that none could sneak in or out of the Complex,
Five Corps of the Army, the 10th. the 11th the 2nd, the 1st and 15th, were actively deployed to attack the Golden Temple Complex. These troops were selected from the crack fighting formations of the Army. Besides, there were two battalions of specially trained Commandos who were dressed in jet black uniforms, even their heads were covered with black helmets so as not to be spotted by the defenders of the Complex at night. All of the C6mmandos had put on bullet proof vases under the uniforms.
The army opened heavy fire on the positions of the defenders of the Complex but the Army was given a befitting reply. The exchange of fire continued incessantly throughout the night intervening 3rd and 4th June and ended in the morning in a stalemate. Neither side was victor nor vanquished. But the army was beaten back. While Sant Bhindranwale and his followers were defending the Golden Temple and Akal Takht with exceptional courage and valour. Harchand Singh Longowal and his courteries hid themselves in the office of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. They were surrounded by some of their supporters including Balwant Singh Ramuwalia, Bhan Singh and Abinashi Singh Asstt. Secretary of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Gurcharan Singh Secretary of Longowal Akali Dal and Bagga Singh Secretary of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, were also present there. Bibi Amarjit Kaur, Chief of Akhand Kirtani Jatha and patron of Babar Khalsa, who had dubbed Sant Bhindranwale as a coward, had also hid herself in the same room where other paper tigers had huddled themselves together. These self styled “brave” leaders were among those who had undertaken oath (Ardas) at Manji Sahib. Golden Temple, in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib to the effect that they shall defend the sacred shrine at the cost of their lives. They vowed if the Indian Army ever entered the Golden Temple Complex it will have to pass over their dead bodies. And when the time came to lay down their lives in defense of the sacred shrines they hid themselves like mice and anxiously waited for the Army to be rescued. Could they be called Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh? These shameless traitors of the Khalsa Panth deserve examplary punishment as they have not only betrayed the Panth but also broken the Ardas so sacred to the Sikh religion.
Thousands went to the Golden Temple to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Jee. Thousands of innocent men, women and children were stuck inside the Temple. This was to become a bloodbath. The Army operation commenced without warning or call for surrender:
“No one inside the Golden Temple had yet realized the sinister plan of the authorities. Punjab had been sealed. Amritsar had been sealed. The Golden Temple had been sealed. Thousands of pilgrims and hundreds of Akali workers had been allowed to collect inside the Temple complex. They had been given no inkling or warning either of the sudden curfew or of the imminent Army attack. It was to be a black hole-type of tragedy, not out of forgetfulness but out of deliberate planning and design.”
~ Citizens for Democracy; Report to the Nation: Oppression in Punjab. Bombay, 1985. A day after publication of the report it was banned and confiscated, the authors were arrested and charged with “sedition” (incitement of rebellion against the government).
In his memoirs (Memoirs of Giani Zail Singh, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 1996) the President of India confirms that no warnings were given; “I pointed out to her [Mrs Indira Gandhi] that military action was taken on a day when the Temple complex was full of pilgrims – men, women and children – assembled to observe the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, most of whom perished in the cross firing… I told her that if notice had been given to these pilgrims over radio and television and loudspeakers, a majority of them would have come out… I had asked the government whether they had issued a warning on the loudspeakers to the people inside the complex to come out, to which they replied in the affirmative. Later, I came to know that no such warning had been issued and the operation had been suddenly launched.”
On warning, Gen KS Brar still keeps lying with nation that army made an appeal and allowed devotees to come out of complex.
Readers can assume themselves whether Giani Zail Singh lying or KS Brar?
Ajmer Singh Randhawa