Why SGPC never discloses how many pair of shoes were found/counted unclaimed as no one came back alive to claim those at Joda Ghars (Shoe stores) in Harmandar Sahab after Operation Bluestar? This could reveal exact number of devotees/pilgrims killed inside periphery of Darbar sahab.
Kindly view it as an evidence of brutality of Indian army and falsehood of KS Brar and the Indian govt that only 400-500 devotees got killed How you are fooled by their false reports?
Apar Singh Bajwa, in his own words:
“What I saw shook me emotionally. Half the Akal Takht was devastated and bodies lay all around in the parikarma (periphery) of the Sri Harmandir Sahib. There was deathly silence. As a policeman I knew how to overcome my emotions. I controlled myself and went to the Darshni Deodi.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Bhai Amrik Singh, General Shabeg Singh …lay dead. Bhindranwale’s face was swollen and blood was oozing from the wounds in his bullet-riddled body. My job was to identify Bhindranwale’s body. The man who lay dead was indeed Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
I was entrusted with the task of removing the bodies from the temple complex in view of the impending visits of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, and President Giani Zail Singh. When I returned in the evening I started working on removing the dead, which included women and children. We removed 800 dead from the complex and other buildings in the vicinity.
What made me sad was that many innocent lives had been lost which could have been saved with a bit of effort…Post-mortem reports later confirmed that some of those who had been killed had had their hands tied behind their backs.
One family relayed what they had witnessed on June 6, 1984 after finally receiving special permission from the Army to take their elderly father’s body to a crematorium: “stench of putrid and burning flesh… bodies had all been brought there by dust carts and from the number of carts; the attendant estimated some 3,300 had so far been cremated.”
But an estimated ten thousand never returned to claim their shoes from the entrance to the Harmandar Sahib. Though the exact number of civilian casualties remains unknown but the people wearing these shoes never returned to claim. These were those pilgrims/devotees who went inside the periphery of Harmandar sahib other than thousands of in Saraai (rest house) or the housing quarters of employees those who wore their shoes and moving/residing/stayed inside the complex. They too were killed so I can estimate the death toll of these innocent Sikhs nearly 15,000 in all in Golden Temple complex only.
India Today opined, “Never before were the champions of civil liberties in India in such dire need of liberating themselves from the clutches of the law.”
In June 1984, even as the government closely orchestrated the return of foreign journalists a fortnight later for a special tour of the Darbar Sahib after a hurried clean-up, a young Associated Press journalist Brahm Chellani, who had managed to stay in Punjab during the attack, had already filed at least 1200—twice the government’s number—deaths in Amritsar city alone, killings by close-range shots of Sikhs with their hands still tied behind their backs, and subsequent dumping of bodies into garbage trucks.
A year later, in 1985, Indian civil liberties group Citizens for Democracy and distinguished jurist V.M. Tarkunde published findings of “sadistic torture, ruthless killings…calculated ill-treatment of women and children.” As the Government banned the report and arrested its authors and publishers, India today opined, “Never before were the champions of civil liberties in India in such dire need of liberating themselves from the clutches of the law.”
Excerpts from my book.
Ajmer Singh Randhawa.