Friday 2nd November 1984 | Sikh Genocide


In Trilokpuri, the killings continued through the night and into the second day. The mobsters were in no hurry; they searched for any Sikhs left hiding and targeted those Sikh houses they suspected may have been initially missed. The surviving women had no means of escape as the attackers had picketed guards at each corner. So, the Sikh women remained in the shells of their burnt out houses, dazed by the violent frenzy they had just witnessed in the past 24 hours. 

In many cases, these women had married into these same houses, raised their children within these walls and now all around them lay the burnt out bodies of their husbands, sons and loved ones. Furthermore, the terrified Sikh women and girls remained vulnerable and in grave danger of sexual violence. They were at the mercy of the roaming mobs and with no-one to offer them protection. The rapes and abductions continued, in some cases, mothers did not even know the whereabouts of their daughters. In one reported case, thirty young Sikh girls had been abducted and taken to the nearby village of Chilla Gaon, a village where many of those who had attacked Trilokpuri, hailed from.

Around 18:00, three newspaper journalists managed to force their way passed the mob and into Trilokpuri. They had been trying to enter since 14:00, after hearing rumours about the carnage. Police had obstructed them from entering Trilokpuri, by claiming everything was calm and under control. On seeing one of the journalists, some Sikh women and children rushed out desperately seeking help. The police complicity in the massacre became evident to the team of reporters, as it was apparent that everything was not calm and controlled. Fearing the scrutiny of the assembled press reporters, senior police officers ordered a shift change in those on duty, citing a mismanagement of the ‘situation’. But it is notable that no evacuation of the victims was made neither were any of the mob arrested, they continued to roam the streets at their leisure.

In Nangloi, the looting and killing continued as it did in other areas of Delhi. Meanwhile, Partap Kaur had gathered her group of women and children and together they hid in one location. Whenever possible, the women would spy from their hiding place and catch a glimpse of more Sikhs being dragged out, beaten and then set alight.

Initially, the mobs had located Sikh houses by use of voting lists, however since the attacks had started, many Sikhs had sought refuge in the houses of their neighbours. But increasingly, the neighbours had come under pressure from the mob and fearing for their own safety they asked the Sikh families to leave. Some neighbours handed the frightened families over to the mobs, while others stood their ground and told the mobs there were no Sikhs in their house, thus saving their lives. Throughout the day, the mobs picked off those Sikhs who were forced to break cover. The ones that managed to escape began trickling into the larger historic Gurdwara’s in Delhi, telling of the horror and scale of the killing taking place.

Although a curfew had been announced in the city of Delhi, it was not enforced. Army units had also been drafted in by the civil authorities, as a show to the world that action was being taken to bring back a return to law & order. But the army was under strict orders to only take the Sikhs they found to the relief camps and not to stop the ongoing killing and looting spree. via sikhrelief.org

Friday 2nd November 1984 | Sikh Genocide

Friday 2nd November 1984 | Sikh Genocide