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India 1984 Riots In Pataudi. Not A Whisper Escaped

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
1984.Riots in pataudi. Not a whisper escaped
Tehelka Magazine, Vol 8, Issue 10, Dated 12 March 2011

As the media focusses on Haryana’s Hondh-Chillar massacre, AVALOK LANGER unearths evidence of another anti-Sikh carnage never reported before

AMIDST FIELDS of ripening wheat, a man who had never shed a tear wept inconsolably. Manwinder Singh Giaspur, 35, a textile engineer based in Gurgaon, broke down when he discovered the 26-year-old secret of genocide. On 2 November 1984, a mob attacked the small Sikh hamlet of Hondh-Chillar located 15 km from Pataudi, in Rewari district of Haryana. The remnants of burnt buildings are the only testimony to a shameful truth: that the anti-Sikh riots had also claimed victims in Haryana with the same ruthless efficiency displayed in Delhi.

In Photo:
Lost her husband and three sons She escaped with her three daughters, whom she had to bring up on her own. She received a widow’s pension for only three months

Lost her husband To escape the mob, she hid in a neighbour’s toilet for hours with three of her four children. She was forced to sweep houses to raise her children

Lost her father-in-law She was forced to hide in the jungle at first and then kept moving from house to house to escape the rioters

Lost her husband and one son She was forced to flee during Partition. She moved to Pataudi where her house was burnt and looted during the 1984 riots

Overwhelmed by a blitz of reporters, camera crews and netas, the then sarpanch and eyewitness, Dhanpat Singh Yadav, ran his finger through his thinning grey hair and said, “For 26 years you all were fast asleep, now suddenly the media has woken up and come to find out what happened?”

The attack came in two waves, he recalled. The villagers of Chillar and Hondh were able to fend off the first group of attackers on 1 November, but at 10 am the next day, a truck and a bus carrying 200-250 young men armed with rods, lathis, diesel and matches stormed the village. Overawed by the aggression and repeated threats by the outsiders, the villagers stood helpless as they killed 31 Sikh men, women and children and razed their bungalows and gurudwara to the ground. While some were burnt alive, others were beaten to death. The four-hour-long carnage came to an abrupt halt when a group of Sikhs broke out of their burning house armed with swords and attacked the rioters. Under the cover of night, the 32 survivors were taken by tractor to Rewari, from where they scattered across the country like Partition refugees.

“An FIR was filed (now apparently lost), a brief inquiry was also carried out, the police knew all the details, the local MLA Col. Ram Singh was aware of the killings but nothing happened. Everyone knew about it but chose to forget,” adds Dhanpat.

As media reports from Ground Zero pour in and parties move in to get maximum mileage, TEHELKA stumbled upon memories of another genocide. In a town known for its debonair Nawabs, 17 Sikhs were butchered in Pataudi.

Those who chose to stay back were forced to rise out of the sewers to rebuild their lives

Sitting in a small, unkempt room, Gurjeet Singh, pradhan of Pataudi’s Gurudwara Singh Sahib said, “I have kept this room of my house unchanged from the ’84 riots. I want my children to see what was done to us at the hands of our own people, in our own country.” He looked at his son, smiled sardonically and added, “Every day mediapersons and netas pass through Pataudi on their way to Hondh-Chillar, but no one has come here to find out what happened to the Sikh families. Before 1984, there were close to 30 Sikh families in Pataudi, but today there are only five. We, who chose to stay back, were forced to rise out of the sewers to rebuild our lives.”

Gurjeet’s mother Pritam Kaur, wrapped in a grey shawl, leaning on her walking stick, said, “Every night, in every idle moment of every day, I am haunted by those memories. Whatever property that was taken, is gone. There is nothing we can do about that now, but the pain, the memories of fear and death will never fade.”

At 6 pm on 1 November, panic filled the city as the gurudwra was set on fire. The Sikhs of Pataudi ran for their lives, hiding wherever they could find cover as an angry mob ripped through the town burning their houses. While one group ran to the safety of the village, another chose to stay in the local ashram.

Leaving the safety of the ashram the next morning, they went to their respective houses to assess the damage. Separated, out in the open, tired and crying, they were attacked by a frenzied mob at 10 am. Many hid in neighbours’ houses, some escaped to the village but 17 people were brutally murdered that day. Burnt alive, their charred bodies — the ‘evidence’ — were piled up and burnt to ashes.

Gurjeet narrates the story of two sisters, Harmeet Kaur, 16, and Karamjeet Kaur, 19. “The mob dragged them out into the street, stripped them, abused them, beat them, urinated on their faces and burnt them alive,” he says. “There was no sense of human dignity, no sense of compassion. What role did these girls have in Mrs Gandhi’s assassination? Were we all responsible? Sardaron ke bachche hai, tho marao (They are children of sardars, so kill them).”

THOUGH MULTIPLE FIRs were lodged, no one was caught or prosecuted and the stories of Pataudi, like those of Hondh, have remained but whispers in once glorious havelis. However, when asked for an action plan, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “Action will be taken in accordance with the report filed by the Gurgaon Commissioner. Though compensation has been given, the guilty must be punished.

If the report deems judicial action is needed, we will pursue it.”

When asked why no one brought out these stories before, Gurjeet said, “The media, the Sikh organisations, the politicians had all labelled the riots as the ‘Delhi riots’. We had no influential leader. There was no local media, we were scared and alone, what could we do? As time passed, we were faced with the responsibility of rebuilding our future, looking to the needs of our families, we did not have the time, resources or support to fight against the system. And to be honest, when you lose your whole world, your will to fight dies.”

Physically, emotionally and financially, none of the Sikh families of Pataudi have been able to recover. If stagnation is normalcy, their lives are on an even keel



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ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Dec 21, 2010
People as history tells us, the next time such incidents will be even more grave. This exposition also obviously won't be the description of the last Sikh killed by Indira Gandhi's party. There are probably many more all over India. I am surprised that nothing has come out of Gujrat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and other states.

Remember also that perhaps for every one killed there were thousands and thousands abused, threatened or persecuted. Indira Gandhi wanted to make sure that Sikhs were once and for all debased in Hindu psyche. Her attack on Harmandir Sahib was just an excuse.

Shake the politicians out the lovely mahals and trees that they reside in after an election both in Punjab and everywhere else including the SGPC (what a bunch of losers! They get paid to protect the Panth and grow Sikhi).

Sat Sri Akal.


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Another living paradigm of Sikh Genocide uncovered
By Gurjaspal Singh
Published: March 5, 2011

Pataudi, HARYANA (March 05, 2011): Another living paradigm of Sikh Genocide is uncovered at Pataudi, District Gurgaon, where 17 Sikhs were brutally killed on November 2, 1984 by a strong mob lead by congress local leaders. Before November 1984 there were 30 Sikh families living in Pataudi but on November 1st, the Gurudwra was set on fire, the Sikhs of Pataudi ran for their lives, While one group ran to the safety of the village, another chose to stay in the local Hari Mandar Ashram. On November 2nd, a group of Sikhs went to their respective houses but they were attacked, and 17 of them were brutally killed that day. The attackers surrounded the Sikh houses and started throwing petrol bombs into the houses of Sikhs. Men and children were beaten and thrown into the burning houses and women were first raped and then thrown into the fire.

All India Sikh Students Federation and “Sikhs For Justice”, the Sikh NGO’s which raised the issue of the mass Grave of Sikhs killed in village Hondh-Chillar, District Rewari, Haryana in which 32 Sikhs were killed on November 02, 1984, Now uncovered another systematic, organized and well planned attack on Sikhs at Pataudi in which 17 Sikhs were killed by a mob lead by local congress leaders.

AISSF President Karnail Singh Peermohammad stated that it is shocking and unbearable to hear about the Sikh Genocide of Pataudi and raises a question as to what was the extent of loss of life of Sikhs during the organized and planned attacks in November 1984. If there are two grave incidents of violence in Haryana within few miles, it is quite possible that there will be hundreds of such sites throughout India where Sikhs were subject to Genocidal attacks, added Peermohammad.

Gurjeet Singh, a witness and survivor of November 1984 killing of Sikhs remembers that mob was raising slogans “Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahe ge Indira Tere Naam Rehege” , “Indira Gandhi Amar Rehe” and “Sikh Gadaar Hain, Anhe Mar Daloo” (Sikhs are traintors, kill them). The mob was carrying swords, petrol, white powder and lathis, and they ransacked the Sikh houses, burnt Sikhs alive and looted their property. Gurjeet Singh’s house was also attacked and burnt down but Gurjeet Singh along with his family was rescued by their neighbors.

Gurjeet Singh still has ruins of his house intact so that he can show the world how Sikhs were hunted, houses burnt and looted during November 1984.

Gurjeet Singh also narrated the story of two teenage daughters of Gian Singh, Harmeet Kaur, 16, and Karamjeet Kaur, 19. “The mob dragged them out into the street, stripped them naked, abused them, beat them, urinated on their faces and burnt them alive,” he says. “There was no sense of human dignity, no sense of compassion. What role did these girls have in Mrs Gandhi’s assassination? Were we all responsible? Sardaron ke bachche hai, tho marao (They are children of sardars, so kill them)”, slogan were being raised by the attackers.

Peermohammad told that witnesses claim that Gurudwara Sri Singh Sabha was attacked, but Granthi of the Gurudwara was able to retrieve Sri Guru Granth Sahib and ran towards the Village Bhore Kalan where he was overpowered by the attackers led by Jhandu Saini, Zamindar, and was chopped into pieces, and the same mob also killed Gurbaksh Singh s/o Gian Singh, whose daughters were raped before being burnt alive.

As per attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun Legal Advisor to Sikhs For Justice, who interviewed the victims and survivors over the phone stated that discovery of Pataudi massacre of Sikhs is another living paradigm of Sikh Genocide and a constant reminder that justice has been denied and eluded the victims of November 1984 Sikh Genocide. The Pataudi massacre of Sikhs is an identical pattern throughout India in which armed groups lead by Congress Leaders would cordon the Sikh neighborhood, rape the women and burn the men and children alive.

An FIR number 282-83 was registered at Pataudi Police Station on November 12, 1984 and it has more than fifteen names of the accused who were involved in the killing of Sikhs on November 2, 1984. But on April 26, 1984, the then Session Judge VM Jain acquitted all the accused because of lack of evidence.

AISSF and SFJ released the list of those who were killed at Pataudi, District Gurgaon, Haryana.

1) Kishan Singh (Husband of Geevni Bai)
2) Kapur Singh (Son of Geevni Bai)
3) Kuldip Singh (Son of Geevni Bai)
4) Harbahajan Singh son of Geevni Bai)
5) Harnam Singh (Husband of Isri Bai)
6) Avtar Singh (Son of Isri Bai)
7) Harmeet Kaur (Daughter of Gian Singh)
8) Karamjeet Kaur (Daughter of Gian Singh)
9) Gurbaksh Singh (Son of Gian Singh)
10) Amrik Singh (Husband of Amrit Kaur)
11) Fateh Singh (Son of Kirpal Singh)
12) Arjun Singh (Son of Mohinder Singh)
13) Bhagat Singh (Son of Mohinder Singh)
14) Gopal Singh (Son of Inder Singh)
15) Surjit Singh
16) Kamaljeet Kaur
17) Granthi of Gurudwara

May 24, 2008
I came across an article by Sangat Singh the known Sikh historian . He gave these figures that nearly 12,000 to 20,000 Sikhs were killed in over 200 cities of India & many more in villages across whole of India . Of these 4000 were killed in Delhi alone . It is indeed very shameful & disheartening that Indian media & Indian political parties are labelling Nov genocide as " 1984 Delhi Sikh riots " as if nothing happened outside Delhi . The fact is that about four times more people were killed outside Delhi than in Delhi . Even today whenever I think about the role of Indian media or so called INDIAN CIVIL SOCIETY regarding Nov 1984 genocide , I am reduced to tears . we should however counter this propaganda by protesting & posting these figures whenever confronted by words "DELHI SIKH RIOTS " or 3000-4000 SIKHS WERE KILLED .