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1984-8 Civil Authorities in Op Blue Star

dalvindersingh grewal

Writer
Historian
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1984-8 Civilian Authorities Responsible for OP Blue Star

Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal
20500

Giani Zail Singh


Gyani Zail Singh (5 May 1916 – 25 December 1994), was the Chief Minister of Punjab (1972-1977), Home-Minister of India (1980-24 July 1982) and President of India (25 July 1982 – 25 July 1987). As Chief Minister of Punjab, he arranged massive religious functions while inaugurating Guru Gobind Singh Marg primarily to counter Akali Dal influence. He is projected as the main propagator of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale the main figure of Operation Blue Star to counter Darbara Singh and the Akalis. During his period of presidency Prime Minister of India Smt Indira Gandhi’s Home Minister, he declared in Parliament that there is no case against Bhindranwale in relation to the murder of Lala Jagat Narain. He visited Sri Darbar Sahib immediately after the Op Blue Star on 8 June 1984.
He later apologised for his role and was exonerated by Panj Piaras at Aka Takhat. Mrs Indiar Gandhi, the then Prime Minister was assassinated during his period of Presidency and he was attacked by an angry mob at AIIMS. He gave the oath of Office of Prime Minister to Rajiv Gandhi on the day of the murder. As anti-Sikh riots erupted the same day of the murder and continued for three days killing Sikhs all over India and burning their properties, laid in limbo. These riots, however, caused immense damage to the secularity of India. When the author met him in 1985 and put a question as to why he allowed the Operation Blue Star, he told that he never permitted it. No one asked him either. Moreover, at that time he was in Assam at Gurdwara Dhubri. He died of injuries in a car accident on 25 December 1994 (aged 78) in Chandigarh.















Indira Gandhi
The Prime Minister of India (19 Nov 1917 to 31 Oct 1984 October 1984 was the chief planner and executors of The Operation Blue Star. As Prime Minister, Gandhi was known for her political intransigence and an unprecedented centralisation of power. She went to war with Pakistan in 1971 (2 Dec to 16 Dec 1971) and created Bangladesh. Citing Janta movement as creating fissiparous tendencies, Gandhi instituted a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 where basic civil liberties were suspended and the press was censored. Widespread atrocities were carried out during the emergency. In 1980, she again returned to power. In the 1977 elections, a coalition led by the Sikh-majority Akali Dal came to power in the northern Indian state of Punjab. In an effort to split the Akali Dal and gain popular support among the Sikhs, Indira Gandhi's Congress helped bring the orthodox religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to prominence in Punjab politics.[1][2] Later, Bhindranwale's organisation Damdami Taksal became embroiled in violence with another religious sect called the Sant Nirankari Mission, and he was accused of instigating the murder of Jagat Narain, the owner of Punjab Kesari newspaper.[3] After being arrested in this matter, Bhindranwale was interrogated but was not found involved hence released once the Home Minister stated his innocence in Parliament. Bhindranwale however, was hurt and disassociated himself from Congress and joined hands with the Akali Dal.[4] In July 1982, he led the campaign for the implementation of the Anandpur Resolution, which demanded greater autonomy for the Sikh-majority state. Meanwhile, a small section of the Sikhs, including some of Bhindranwale's followers, turned to militancy after being targeted by government officials and police in support of the Resolution.[5] In 1982, Bhindranwale and approximately 200 armed followers moved into a guest house called the Guru Nanak Niwas, in the precinct of the Golden Temple.[6] By 1983, the Temple complex had become a fort for a large number of militants.[7] The Statesman later reported that light machine guns and semi-automatic rifles were known to have been brought into the compound.[8] On 23 April 1983, the Punjab Police Deputy Inspector General A. S. Atwal was shot dead as he left the Temple compound. The following day, after the murder, Harchand Singh Longowal (then President of Shiromani Akali Dal) confirmed the involvement of Bhindranwale in the murder.[9] Indira Gandhi almost gave the go-ahead to a covert RAW mission to kidnap Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in February 1984 in a Helicopter Operation Sundown under RN Kao her security advisor from Sarsawa Airport but was not carried out. This was planned and dropped months before she sent the Army into the Golden Temple in 1984. [10]
After several futile negotiations, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian army in June 1984 to enter the Golden Temple in order to remove Bhindranwale and his supporters from the complex. The army used heavy artillery, including tanks, in the action code-named Operation Blue Star. The operation badly damaged or destroyed parts of the Temple complex, including the Akal Takht shrine and the Sikh library. It also led to the deaths of a large number of Sikh fighters and innocent pilgrims. The number of casualties remains disputed with estimates ranging from many hundreds to many thousands [11]
Gandhi was accused of using the attack for political ends. Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer stated that Indira Gandhi attacked the temple complex to present herself as a great hero in order to win general elections planned towards the end of 1984. [12] There was fierce criticism of the action by Sikhs in India and overseas.[13] There was also incidents of mutiny by Sikh soldiers in the aftermath of the attack.[11]After Operation Blue Star, she was assassinated by Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, her own bodyguards on 31 October 1984. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh; were both shot down by other security guards. Satwant Singh recovered from his injuries and was executed along with Kehar Singh after being convicted of murder. Kehar Singh’s was however acquitted by Supreme Court but he was hanged by then. After the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi, the hooligans mainly inspired by Congress leaders started Sikh genocide where more than 3000 Sikhs were killed, many thousands injured their properties destroyed making thousands of them homeless all over India. Congress leaders Lalit Makan (MP), Sajjan Kuman (MP), Arjun Das (Counsellor), HKL Bhagat (MP & Minister) etc. were named in later inquiries. Lalit Makan and Arjun Das were gunned in 1985 while Sajjan Kumar with other ex MLA and Councillor have been given life imprisonment in December 2018 after an unusually long follow up of the case.
References:
1. Gus Martin (15 June 2011). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Second Edition. SAGE. pp. 543–545. ISBN 978-1-4129-8016-6. Retrieved 11 October 2012.

  1. C. Christine Fair; Sumit Ganguly (29 September 2008). Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces. Oxford University Press. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-19-534204-8. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  2. William Gould (30 November 2011). Religion and Conflict in Modern South Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 237. ISBN 978-0-521-87949-1. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  3. Harnik Deol (2 October 2012). Religion and Nationalism in India: The Case of Punjab. Psychology Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-415-20108-7. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  4. Martin E. Marty; R. Scott Appleby (1 May 2004). Fundamentalisms Comprehended. University of Chicago Press. p. 454. ISBN 978-0-226-50888-7. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  5. Singh, Tavleen. "Prophet of Hate: J S Bhindranwale". India Today. Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  6. Mark Tully and Satish Jacob, Amritsar – Mrs Gandhi's Last Battle (Calcutta: Rupa & Co. by arrangement with Pan Books, London, 1985)
  7. Kuldip Nayar and Khushwant Singh, Tragedy of Punjab, Vision Books, New Delhi, 1984, page 79.
  8. Longowal said "Whenever the situation becomes ripe for settlement, some violent incident takes place. I know Bhindranwale is behind the murder of the DIG", "(The person behind the murder is) The one who is afraid of losing his seat of power"Indian Express. 27 April 1983. interview with Longowal.
  9. The untold story before Operation Bluestar
  10. Guidry, John; Kennedy,, Michael D.; Zald, Mayer N. (Editors) (2000). Globalisations and social movements: culture, power, and the transnational public sphere (Reprint. ed.). Ann Arbor, Michigan: Univ. of Michigan Press. p. 319. ISBN 9780472067213.
12."Indira Gandhi had since long been planning for an attack on Darbar Sahib..." Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (2012). Sikh History in 10 Volumes. vol 7, p. 168; 196-197.
13. Mandair, Arvind-pal Singh; Shackle, Christopher; Singh, Gurharpal (Editors) (2001). Sikh religion, culture and ethnicity. Routledge. pp. 169–171. ISBN 9781136846342.

Rajiv Gandhi
Shri Rajiv Gandhi (20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was the 7th Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989 after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi. He became to become the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40. His brother Sanjay Gandhi an MP; despite died in an aeroplane crash in 1980 he was brought in to politics when he won his brother's Parliamentary seat of Ameth and became a member of the Lok Sabha. For political grooming, he was made a general secretary of the Congress party and given significant responsibility in organising the 1982 Asian Games. He became advisor of Indira Gandhi during the negotiations with Akalis in Punjab and was part of the negotiations. During Operation Blue Star he was at the top of the advisors. After Smt Gandhi’s assassination on 31 October he was solemnised the office of Prime Minister of India. Anti-Sikh riots spread all over India and there was a mass massacre of Sikhs for 3 days at the start of taking. His remarks on anti-Sikh riots, “
are often quoted to show his seriousness towards controlling the riots. The Sikhs felt alienated, but taking a sympathetic view of the plight fo the Sikh masses he started a vitriolic campaign against Sikhs to gain sympathy for this election resulting in 411 seats out of 542 seats for the Congress. He indeed forgot the Rajdharam as did his mother. Rajiv Gandhi's period in office was mired in controversies; perhaps the greatest crises were the mass massacre of the Sikhs, the Bhopal disaster, and the Shah Bano case and failed intervention in Sri Lanka in 1988 In mid-1987 the Bofors Scandal damaged his corruption-free image and resulted in a major defeat for his party in the 1989 election. Gandhi remained Congress President until the elections in 1991. While campaigning for the elections, he was assassinated by a suicide bomber from the LTTE.

Darbara Singh
Darbara Singh (10 February 1916 — 10 March 1990) was appointed as Chief Minister of Punjab on 17 February 1980 which he remained till 1983.{3]{4]. His rivalry with Giani Zail Singh is reported to be one of the reason of Punjab crisis. In August 1980 he placed in the House three interim reports of the Justice Gurdev Singh Commission which inquired into the charges of favouritism, corruption, and excesses against Zail Singh and his men when they ruled Punjab. Giani Zail Singh, then the Union home minister was badly bruised. The judge has not only indicted him severely for favouritism, but also for not cooperating with the commission and levelling "baseless, malicious and false" allegations against the commission. The Charges: The severest indictments of Zail Singh came in regard to the appointments made by him to key posts. Two of them relate to the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC). Of them, the judge said: "The paramount interests of the country and administration depend primarily upon the proper and fair selection of its personnel. This can be ensured only if the appointments to the Public Service Commission themselves are above board." The indictments: Elevation of Niranjan Singh Mitha from the post of a mere public relations officer in the Punjab State Electricity Board to the membership of the PPSC: the promotion of J. R. Bansal as chairman of the PPSC over the claims of Air Marshal Shiv Dev Singh. Bansal was then made a member of the Union Public Service Commission: Appointment of Ajaib Singh Machhaki as an administrative member of the Punjab State Electricity Board "without even consulting the irrigation and power minister and deputy minister." Irregular appointment of Udham Singh as the state's director of public prosecutions "solely to take him out of the disciplinary jurisdiction of the High Court" where he was facing an inquiry. The commission which found a number of complaints of illegal detentions and high-handedness valid mentioned the case of one Thakur Hari Singh, class four employees' union leader at Amritsar. The then Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, J. D. Khanna, found it convenient to have him detained for months in the mental hospital with the help of Dr Baldev Parkash, the then medical superintendent of the hospital. The judge expressed surprise that Hari Singh had maintained his sanity in spite of this. Darbara Singh asserted that his government would follow up the report on the basis of what an administrative committee - which includes the home secretary, the inspector general of police, and the legal remembrancer - recommend. Earlier Darbara Singh had refused to accommodate even one of the Giani's men in his cabinet. Zail Singh, was desperate to prevent Darbara Singh from eroding his popular image in Punjab, more so with his position getting increasingly shaky in New Delhi. (5) The report also included the excesses of the Emergency period. This started a long rivalry which added to the turmoil in Punjab and encouraged the development of Sant Bhindranwale whom Giani Zail Singh projected more to subdue Darbara Singh. Darbara Singh opposed this strongly. The 1980s became a turbulent time in the history of Punjab marked by an increase in violence and demand for a separate Sikh homeland adding to the feud of the two. During this time Darbara Singh government was grappling with the rising militancy in the state. There was a spate of assassinations, prime among them being the daylight murder of Lala Jagat Narain, Head of the Punjab Kesri group of newspapers of Jalandhar. This was followed by the assassination of DIG of Punjab Police Jalandhar range Avtar Singh Atwal outside the Golden Temple Complex. Due to increase in terrorist violence, the tenure of the ministry was cut short and the Darbara Singh ministry resigned and President Rule was imposed in the state under Art.356 of Indian Constitution on 6 June 1983. He died on 13 March 1990 (aged 74) at Chandigarh,

References
  1. Punjab (India). Legislature. Legislative Assembly. Committee of Privileges (1968). Report. p. 32. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  2. "Rajya Sabha 'Brief Biographical Sketch 1952-20033" (PDF). Rajya Sabha. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  3. Atul Kohli (14 July 2014). India's Democracy: An Analysis of Changing State-Society Relations. Princeton University Press. pp. 188–. ISBN 978-1-4008-5951-1. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
4.Subhash Chander Arora (1 January 1990). President's Rule in the Indian States: A Study of Punjab. Mittal Publications. pp. 65–. ISBN 978-81-7099-234-9. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
5. India Today, Feud between Punjab CM Darbara Singh and Union Minister Zail Singh rages in public August 15, 1980, updated: December 4, 2014, 13:10 IST

Rameshwar Nath Kao
Rameshwar Nath Kao
(May 10, 1918 - January 20, 2002) was a spymaster and the first chief of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) from its founding in 1969 to 1977.[1] He held the position of Secretary (Research) in the Cabinet Secretariat of the Government of India, which has been held by all R&AW directors since. He had also, during the course of his long career, served as the personal security chief to Prime Minister Nehru and as security adviser to Rajiv Gandhi. He was the key advisor to Indira Gandhi during Operation Blue Star. He also founded the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) and the Joint Intelligence Committee. -Rameshwar Nath Kao, built the external intelligence agency, RAW, in 1968 and used it to train Mukti Bahini guerrillas during the Bangladesh war in 1971. He had returned to government as Mrs Gandhi's senior aide in 1981 and was her de facto national security adviser before and during the Operation Blue Star. He was also the key adviser on the Punjab problem on Security matters.
On the advice of R N Kao Indira Gandhi almost gave the go-ahead to a covert RAW mission ‘Sundown’ to kidnap Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale planned in February 1984 with the assistance of British intelligence but dropped in April 1984 for fear of a large number of causalities, months before she sent the Army into the Golden Temple in 1984. The details of the planned operation are given separately.

PV Narsimha Rao

Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao
(28 June 1921 – 23 December 2004) served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996 [3] As a Foreign Minister he was the chief negotiator and advisor on Punjab Affairs of Indira Gandhi with Akali Dal just before Operation Blue star even though he was not the Home Minister. During Operation Blue Star he helped Indira Gandhi from the initial stage of planning and during the operations. He is well known for his stance in Babri Masjid Demolition and for his silent role to allow holocaust of Sikhs all over India as a Home Minister.
 
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