6th June,1984 | Early Morning to Night | When India Waged War On Its Own Citizens (Part 4 of 5)


Due to the lack of progress made towards the Akal Takht, further reinforcements are called in. The 9th Garhwal rifles supported by more companies enter the complex through the southern gate (Reference Library) and head for the Akal Takht. After fierce resistance they manage to establish a foothold on the roof of the reference library.

The army ‘neutralizes’ the perceived threat of any resistance in the Parikarma (buildings and rooms that encircle the Golden Temple itself) but in these rooms, there are only thousands of pilgrims taking cover from the pitch battle outside. Systematically, the army goes from room to room lobbing grenades and firing indiscriminately, which results in the slaughter of innocent men, women and children.

JUNE 6th: Early Morning

By 03:00 on June 6th, the last unit of the Indian Army the Madrasis, arrives five hours late. The Indian General’s now have all their units deployed and surround the Akal Takht. The SSF commando’s are ordered to make another attempt to storm the Akal Takht, using stun grenades and gas canisters but are forced back by the return of heavy fire. Kuldip Brar orders his armoured personnel carriers into the complex, only to find the first one is taken out by a rocket propelled grenade. The army General’s become increasingly desperate men – they have suffered huge casualties and in an hour or so as day breaks, their positions will be exposed, so they call for the tanks to fire HESH shells (High Explosive Squash Heads) at the Akal Takht. Over 80 shells are fired, decimating the Akal Takht and up to 400 houses and shops were razed to the ground in the surrounding area.

JUNE 6th: Night

The gallant Sikh defenders who survived the shelling, continue to put up a stiff resistance. The army exchanges fire with them until 12:30pm and on the night of June 6th, the troops finally manage to enter the basement of the Akal Takht as the guns of the Sikhs fall silent.

 

6th June,1984 | Early Morning to Night | When India Waged War On Its Own Citizens (Part 4 of 5)

 

Read in Punjabi via Sikh Organisation For Prisoners Welfare (SOPW)