Blue Star was a military operation undertaken on June 1984 and ended on 6 June 1984. The Indian Army, led by General Kuldip Singh Brar, brought infantry, artillery, and tanks into the Harmandir Sahib
Operation Blue Star – Background
On 13th April 1978 the Akhand Kirtani Jatha gathered together from all over India at Amritsar to hold their yearly Vaisakhi Smagam. Kirtan had started from Amrit Vela and at about 10 o’clock a message was received. The message said that the followers of Nakali Nirankari Gurbachan Singh were holding a procession in Amritsar and were shouting slogans against the Satguru and shouting insults against the Sikh religion.
All the Sikh Sangat knew very well that the Nakali Nirankaris had been doing these things for the past few years. The Nirankaris had given degrading names to some GurSikhs including Mata Tripta Ji, Bhai Gurdas Ji, Bibi Nanaki Ji, Baba Budha Ji, Bhai Lalo Ji, Bhagat Kabir Ji. They called the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji a bundle of papers, and they called Kar Sewa, Bikar Sewa. The Nakali Nirankari leader said that Guru Gobind Singh Ji had made 5 Panj Pyarai, I shall make 7. Once he had even dared to place his foot on the Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji
After this incident, Bhindrenwale’s reputation as a fierce emerging Sikh leader rose tremendously in Sikh political circles. From 1977 until 1983, Bhindrenwale led his agitation against Arya Samajis and other fanatic Hindu organizations who were working against Sikh and ncept of Punjabiat as well as many Sikhs who opposed him for his fanatical views. Many of his followers were young rural Sikhs, who had been disappointed with state and central government due to unemployment, poverty and other problems. After 3-4 years of trial, Gurbachan of Nirankari sect was acquitted by Indian court, even though more then 10 person testified against him in court, it was clearly evident that there were political heavy weights behind him.
Till 1983 newspapers all over Punjab reported daily killings of innocent bystandards by armed brigades of young motor cycle driving terrorists who would suddenly appear and with one burst of machine gun kill few people. Congress Punjab government came out with a law banning the pillion(double) riding of a motor bike. Prominent Arya samaji leaders and news paper publishers of Hind Samachar group like Lala Jagat Narain was killed by unidentified persons and Government of India implicated Bhindrenwale and arrested him at Chowk Mehta in 1982, but he was released in two days. Then, in later half of 1982 he moved to Golden temple complex where he setup his headquarters in Guru Ram Das Sarai. In 1984 he moved to Akal Takht. Indira Gandhi and government of India declared president rule in Punjab and deployed 4 division of Army through out Punjab, in a desperate attempt to flush out Bhindrenwale and his accomplice from Golden Temple complex. Then it all started, I quote from much accomplished book called “Amritsar Mrs. Gandhi’s Last battle”, by Mark Tully and Satish Jacob “At Seven o’Clock on the evening of 5th June, tanks of the 16th Cavalry Regiment of the Indian army started moving up to the Golden Temple complex. They passed Jalianwala Bagh, the enclosed garden where General Dyer massacred nearly 400 people. That massacre dealt a mortal blow to Britain’s hopes of continuing to rule India and was one of the most inspirations of the freedom movement. When Mrs. Gandhi was told that Operation Blue Star had started,she must have wondered whether it would provide the decisive inspiration for the Sikh independence movement, a movement whch at that time had very little support outside Bhindrenwale’s entourage and small groups of Sikhs living in Britain, Canada and the United States. Major-General Brar was leading a mixed bag of troops, representative of the widespread recruiting pattern of the modern Indian army, which has broken with British tradition of limiting recruitment to certain ‘martial castes’. There were Dogras and Kumaonis from the foothills of the Himalayas, India’s northern border. There were Rajputs, the desert warriors from Rajasthan. There were Madrasis from Tamil Nadu, one of the most southern states. There were Biharis from the tribes of central India, and there were some Sikhs. Major Brar had joined Maratha Light infantry 30 years ago in 1954 as a lieutenant. He had fought in Bangladesh under Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the Sikh general who was most outspoken critic of the Operation Blue Star.”