India

Sikh body seeks declassification of Blue Star files

12 Jun 2016 | By Gaurav
1984 Riots and Operation Blue Star

A Sikh body has demanded that the government declassify all files pertaining to Operation Blue Star.

Stating that the issue was an example of how all minorities are treated in India, Pratap Singh, President of the Sikh Forum asked why the exact death toll was never made public.

So far the government has not responded to the statements.

In context: 1984 Riots and Operation Blue Star

6 Jun 1984The incident

On June 6, 1984, Operation Blue Star, a military operation was ordered by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

Indian Army stormed the complex of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikh faith, to flush out armed extremists led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

The operation was launched in response to deterioration of law and order situation in Punjab.

Duration of Operation Blue Star

Operation Blue Star had two components. The first was Operation Metal, confined to Golden Temple. It was followed by Operation Shop, in Punjab countryside to capture any suspects. The entire operation lasted for ten days from June 1 to June 10, 1984.
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The Khalistan Movement

KhalistanThe Khalistan Movement

Operation Blue Star was in retaliation to the Khalistan Movement.

Khalistan Movement was a political Sikh nationalist movement that wanted to create an independent state for Sikh people, inside the North-Western India.

It started in the early 1940s and 50s, and was most popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the leader of Damdami Taksal, propagated the Sikhism-based theocratic state of Khalistan.

31 Oct 1984Assassination of Indira Gandhi

Operation Blue Star left thousands of people dead.

It also resulted in the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, six months after the event.

On 31 October 1984, she was shot dead by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh.

The gunmen, embittered by Indira Gandhi's role in Operation Blue Star, fired 33 rounds of bullets at her.

Nov 19841984 Anti-Sikh Riots

Immediately after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, anti-Sikh riots broke out in Delhi and spread to other parts of the country. They ended with her cremation on 2 November.

More than 3,000 Sikhs were killed brutally and members of the ruling Congress party were widely accused of encouraging the violence.

The worst affected areas were Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri, Trilokpuri, and other Trans-Yamuna areas of Delhi.

Operation Black Thunder

A repeat of Operation Blue Star, Operation Black Thunder took place in the late 1980s, to flush out remaining Sikh activists from Golden Temple. The first Operation Black Thunder took place on April 30, 1986. The second Operation Black Thunder began on May 9, 1988.
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12 Jun 2016Sikh body seeks declassification of Blue Star files

27 Jun 2016Victims of anti-Sikh riots will be assured justice

Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that all the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots would be assured of getting justice.

He added that a Special Investigative Team investigated 286 cases in the riots, and came to the conclusion that at least 22 cases need to be looked into again.

Singh made the comments while addressing a gathering at Fategarh Sahib in Punjab.

17 Feb 2017SIT hands in report of 1984 Anti-Sikh riots probe

The 3-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Narendra Modi government in February 2015 submitted a report to the Supreme Court about the anti-Sikh riot probe.

In these two years, the SIT examined around 650 cases related to the riots registered with the Delhi Police 32 years ago.

59 cases required re-investigation, and according to sources, the probe into them is almost finished.