Three decades on: Sikhs protest against Indian attack on Golden Temple


Sikh community vows to continue Khalistan Movement that led to hundreds of deaths in 1984


LAHORE: Members of the Sikh community on Wednesday held a rally to commemorate the death of hundreds of Sikhs at the Golden Temple during Operation Blue Star carried out by the Indian Army on the orders of the then prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi.

Carrying placards and banners, the Sikh community of Lahore held the rally outside Gurdwara Dera Sahib, in which participants raised slogans against the attack and the Indian state. They also chanted slogans like “Khalistan Movement Zindabad” [Long Live Khalistan Movement] and “Pakistan Zindabad” [Long Live Pakistan].

The rally was led by Sardar Aotar Singh Sanghera of London and attended by Parhdhan Sardar Bishon Singh, Sardar Mohinder Singh, Sardar Taran Singh, Sardar Kuldeep Singh, Sardar Sarbat Singh, Sardar Soba Singh, Balwant Singh and a large number of women and children.

Addressing the rally, Sardar Aotar Singh Sanghera protested against the Indian brutality and said his community would never forget the atrocities unleashed on them on June 6, 1984. “Even our coming generations will not ever forget the brutality of the Indian Army. Our Khalistan Movement will continue so as to put an end to the nefarious designs of India against the Sikhs. History won’t forget the inhumaneness of Indian Army either,” he said.

Sardar Bishon Singh, at the occasion, said that they would never forget the Sri Darbar Sahib [Golden Temple] tragedy and still awaited justice. “The Indian army didn’t even spare innocent children, the elderly and women. We will continue to observe this day till we have blood in our veins and expose the real face of the Indian government,” he added.

It merits mention that the Indian Army stormed the Golden Temple on June 6, 1984 – operation Blue Star – aimed at flushing out Sikh separatists who demanded an independent homeland called Khalistan in the Indian Punjab province.

While according to the Indian government, around 400 people including 87 soldiers were killed as a result of the attack, Sikhs claim that thousands, who were present there to observe the death anniversary of Arjan Dev Ji – the fifth guru – were killed by the Indian army.

Operation Blue Star outraged Sikhs around the world and they accused Indian troops of desecrating the faith’s holiest shrine and took it as an attack on Sikhism. The operation also led to the assassination of the then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, who was killed by her Sikh bodyguards.