Thursday, 7 June 2012

Lest We Forget

India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by two of her Sikh bodyguards acting in the aftermath of Operation Bluestar. Operation Blue Star was the brutal attack on the Holy Sikh shrines of the Akal Takhat and the Golden Temple during the period June 1 to 6, 1984. The Indian army invaded the Harmandir Sahib complex on the orders of Indira Gandhi, in order to remove the militant Sikh followers of Baba Jarnail Singh Ji Bhindranwale who were residing there. In the attack, around 1,600 innocent pilgrims - men, women and children - were killed. The operation saw the use of heavy artillery, rockets and tanks being employed. The attack was a massive, painful blow to the Sikh population. Gandhi paid for her crime. Over the next four days after Gandhi's assasination, thousands of innocent Sikhs were massacred in systematic riots planned and led by Congress activists and sympathizers. The Congress government was widely criticized for doing nothing to help, and for indeed inciting the violence and acting as a conspirator, especially since voting lists were used to identify Sikh families. On November 1, 1984, a huge mob from the suburbs of Delhi descended on various localities where mainly Sikh were concentrated. They were armed with iron rods, knives, clubs and some carried combustible materials, including kerosene. They had voters' lists of houses and business establishments belonging to Sikhs. The mobsters swarmed into Sikh homes brutally killing men, women and children. Their houses and shops were then ransacked and burned. Crazed mobs beat, tortured, raped and killed any Sikhs they could find. The most affected regions were neighbourhoods in Delhi, but in and out of Delhi, crazed mobs stopped buses and trains, pulling out Sikh passengers who were lynched or doused with kerosene and burned alive.

Never forget 1984.

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