November 1984 - India State Sponsored Massacre Of Sikhs - Part 3





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Published on Apr 29, 2009


The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom was triggered by the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by 2 of her bodyguards. The assassination itself was in retaliation for Operation Bluestar, in which the Indian Army attacked the Golden Temple, Harimandir Sahib, the holiest Sikh shrine. Over the next four days, as many as 15,000 Sikhs were killed in retaliatory attacks. The most affected regions were neighborhoods in Delhi.

On November 1, 1984, large organised mobs with lists of Sikh homes, businesses & temples descended on eastern and central Delhi. Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri, Trilokpuri, and other Trans-Yamuna areas of Delhi were the worst affected. The mobs carried iron rods, knives, clubs, and combustible material, including kerosene. They used voters' lists, allegedly provided,by the politicians themselves, to identify houses and business establishments owned by Sikhs. The mobs swarmed into Sikh neighborhoods, arbitrarily killing any Sikh men they could find. Their shops and houses were ransacked and burned. In other incidents, armed mobs stopped buses and trains, in and around Delhi, pulling out Sikh passengers to be lynched or doused with kerosene and burnt.

Then Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, son of Indira Gandhi, made a statement at Boat Club in New Delhi on 19 November 1984, on the birthday of Indira Gandhi, "Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indiraji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little.."

The government destroyed evidence and shielded the guilty. The Asian Age front page story called the government actions "the Mother of all Cover-ups". Violence was led and often perpetrated by the Indian National Congress activists and sympathizers during the pogrom. The ruling government party and even opposition were complicit in both the pogrom and maintaining silence rather than outrage against the massacre.

Ten commissions of enquiry and committees have so far inquired into the pogrom. Many of the primary accused were acquitted or never charge-sheeted.

I felt like a refugee in my country. In fact, I felt like a Jew in Nazi Germany. (Khushwant Singh).
Criminally led hoodlums killed Sikhs, looted or burnt homes and properties while the police twiddled their thumbs. (India Today, November 15, 1984)
I was told, You appoint another committee to identify the people but HKL Bhagat is not involved. (Advocate Harvinder Singh Phoolka)


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