Operation Blue Star 1984Sikh News

7 June 1984; Sikh Reference Library burnt with all its priceless collection of 20,000 rare and including 2500 handwritten saroops

Sikh Reference Library burnt with all its priceless collection of 20,000 rare and Valuable historic documents,including 2500 handwritten saroops of Guru Granth Sahib ji’s are reduced to ashes

Pilgrims Executed

By the morning of June 7, except for a very few surviving snipers, the men who had held the Army at bay for three days, were all dead. The majority of the complex was under army control. The aftermath of the battle was horrific and ghastly, an eyewitness details how the army had treated the pilgrims who had survived the bombardment:

“[The army] took off their turbans with which they tied their hands behind their backs. Then the Army men beat these Sikh boys with the butts of their rifles until they fell on the ground and were shot dead right in front of me.”

Teenage girl’s eyewitness account as quoted in Oppression in Punjab: Citizens For Democracy Report, 1985. Commissioned by Justice Y.M. Tarkunde.

Sikh Reference Library Torched:

The Sikh Fighters had fought to protect their most valued shrine from harm, and the pilgrims from dishonour and death. Sadly after the resistance was broken, the army had free reign, apart from the rape and murder of pilgrims the most distressing and inexcusable act was the torching of the Sikh Reference Library.

“Any army which wants to destroy a nation destroys its culture. That is why the Indian army burnt the [Sikh Reference] library.”

Amritsar: Mrs. Gandhi’s Last Battle, Tully, Mark and Jacob, (New Delhi, 1985).

“The Government wanted to destroy Sikh history. Otherwise, how do you explain the fire in the Sikh Reference Library? The archives were set on fire two days after the army action. It was a historical collection of ancient books, Khardas [manuscripts], handwritten historical birs [Guru Granth Sahibs], some of them were even written by the Gurus, Janam Sakhis (biographical sketches of Gurus), Hukumnamas [commandments of Akal Takhat] which were of the greatest importance as the Sikhs regularly referred to them for their research.”
Giani Kirpal Singh, Jathedar Akat Takhat (at the time of Operation Bluestar and eyewitness) interview published in Surya, August, 1984.

Soldiers Celebrate by Drinking and Smoking in the Sikh’s Holiest Shrine:

“Although the Sri Harmandir Sahib was riddled with bullets, the Akaal Takhat destroyed with cannon fire, and thousands of pilgrims massacred, the army were celebrating, people were seen carrying buckets of beer to the main gates of the temple where they jubilantly served the soldiers.
The soldiers freely drank and smoked inside the complex. They certainly had plenty to drink, a notification of the Government of Punjab’s Department of Excise and Taxation allowed for the provision of 700,000 quart bottles of rum, 30,000 quart bottles of whiskey, 60,000 quart bottles of brandy and 160,000 bottles of beer all for ‘consumption by the Armed Forces Personnel deployed in Operation Blue Star’;”

Amritsar – Mrs. Gandhi’s Last Battle”, p203 (Ninth Ed. 1991).

7 june 1984

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