What was Operation Blue Star?

Operation Blue Star was the codename given to the Indian Army attack on the Harmandir Sahib (often called the Golden Temple) complex, one of the holiest shrines of the Sikh faith and akin to the Vatican for Catholics.

The attack occurred from June 1-6, 1984. The Indian army invaded on the orders of Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. Around 100,000 army troops had been deployed throughout Punjab. The army – who attacked in full force with tanks, helicopters and heavy artillery – were deployed under the pretence of removing “militant” leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (then head of revered Sikh seminary DamDami Taksal) and his followers from the complex.

The group of alleged “militants” numbered approximately 250. The Golden Temple and the surrounding rooms within the many buildings around the complex were filled with 3,000 or more civilians (pilgrims, guests, volunteers and staff) of the complex.

Many eye witnesses have testified to the callousness of the Indian army during this attack, with hundreds of innocent civilians killed within the complex, including women, children and infants. Some were even tied up before being executed, whilst many women also reported being raped by Indian army officers.

To make matters worse, the Indian army simultaneously attacked approximately 40+ other historical Gurdwaras all over Punjab. Whilst Indian authorities state 492 civilians were killed, independent groups estimate the total at over four times that amount, including the attacks on Gurdwaras across the Punjab on the same day.

CASE STUDIES AVAILABLE – For more information, including interviews or quotes, email Media@SikhPA.com.

The Sikh Genocide of 1984

Pic via www.sikhiwallpapers.com

The attacks against Sikhs did not end with Operation Blue Star.

In 1984 from October 31st to November 3rd, anti-Sikh pogroms took place all over India after the assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984. India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh guards acting in the aftermath of Operation Bluestar.

Over the next four days thousands of Sikhs were massacred in systematic, planned killing sprees. Figures vary from 3,000 to 30,000 deaths of Sikhs in this period. The then Congress government were heavily implicated in the killings, especially since voting lists were used to identify Sikh families.

On this page we have collated articles, images, videos and stats on the occurrences of 1984.

CASE STUDIES AVAILABLE – For more information, including interviews or quotes, email Media@SikhPA.com.

Innocents Lost in 1984

Innocents Lost 1984

Sikh educational publishing organisation Akaal Publishers have powered a radio drama play giving an inside view of what it was like for those inside the Golden Temple during Operation Blue Star.

Innocents Lost in 1984 is a play which focuses on how civilians suffered during the attack, something which is often forgotten during discussions which can focus entirely on the politics behind the military operation. Please use the hashtag #1984Innocents to remind people of the scale of the human tragedy when posting online about Operation Blue Star.

For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/1984Innocents/.