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1984 Sikh Massacre

1984 Sikh Massacre. 4000 Sikhs were killed/tortured in 3 days after October 31 st 1984. What happened in Delhi?. October 31, 1984: 9.20 am: Indira Gandhi was shot by two of her security guards at her residence

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1984 Sikh Massacre

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  1. 1984 Sikh Massacre 4000 Sikhs were killed/tortured in 3 days after October 31st 1984

  2. What happened in Delhi? • October 31, 1984: • 9.20 am: Indira Gandhi was shot by two of her security guards at her residence • 11 am: Announcement on All India Radio specifying that the guards who shot Indira Gandhi were Sikhs.

  3. 4 pm: Rajiv Gandhi returned from West Bengal and reached AIIMS. Stray incidents of attacks on Sikhs in and around that area. • 5.30 pm: The cavalcade of President Zail Singh, who returned from a foreign visit, was stoned

  4. Late evening and night: Mobs fanned out in different directions from [the hospital]. The violence against Sikhs spread. The violence included the burning of vehicles and other properties of Sikhs. That happened even in VIP areas like the crossroads near Prithviraj Road where cars and scooters belonging to Sikhs were burnt.

  5. Despite all these developments, no measures were taken to control the violence or prevent further attacks on Sikhs throughout the night between October 31 and November 1.

  6. November 1, 1984: • Several Congress leaders held meetings on the night of October 31 and morning of November 1, mobilising their followers to attack Sikhs on a mass scale. The first killing of a Sikh reported from east Delhi in the early hours of November 1. About 9 am, armed mobs took over the streets of Delhi and launched a massacre. Everywhere the first targets were Gurudwaras – to prevent Sikhs from collecting there and putting up a combined defence.

  7. Mobs were armed with iron rods of a uniform size. Activist editor Madhu Kishwar saw some of the rods being distributed among the miscreants. Mobs also had an abundant supply of petrol and kerosene. Victims traced the source of kerosene to dealers belonging to the Congress party. For instance, a Congress worker called Brahmanand Gupta, a kerosene dealer, figures prominently in affidavits filed from Sultanpuri.

  8. Every police station had a strength of about 100 men and 50-60 weapons. Yet, no action was taken against miscreants in most places. The few places where the local police station took prompt measures against mobs, hardly any killings took place there. Farsh Bazar and Karol Bagh are two such examples. But in other localities, the priority of the police, as it emerges from the statement of the then police commissioner S.C. Tandon  before the Nanavati Commission, was to take action against Sikhs who dared to offer resistence. All the Sikhs who fired in self-defence were disarmed by the police and even arrested on trumped up charges. 

  9. Most of the mobs were led by Congress members, including those from affluent families. For instance, a Youth Congress leader called Satsangi led a mob in the posh Maharani Bagh. The worst affected areas were however far flung, low income colonies like Trilokpuri, Mongolpuri, Sultanpuri and Palam Colony.

  10. November 2,1984: • Curfew was in force throughout Delhi – but only on paper. The Army was also deployed throughout Delhi but nowhere was it effective because the police did not co-operate with the soldiers who were not empowered to open fire without the consent of senior police officers or executive magistrates. Meanwhile, mobs continued to rampage with the same ferocity.

  11. November 3,1984: • It was only towards the evening of November 3 that the police and the Army acted in unison and the violence subsided immediately after that. Whatever violence took place the next two or three days was on a much smaller scale and rather sporadic.

  12. Aftermath of the carnage: • Most of the arrested miscreants were released at the earliest. But the Sikhs arrested for firing in self-defence generally remained in detention for some weeks. Worse, there was also a pattern throughout Delhi of the police not registering proper cases on the complaints of victims.

  13. Since the Partition riots of 1947, there has not been a single carnage anywhere in India on the scale seen in 1984. • It took 6 Months for the Government to accede to the inquiry demand. Though the massacre took place in the first three days of November 1984, the inquiry was appointed only on April 26, 1985. The Government was however prompt in ordering an inquiry into Indira Gandhi’s assassination, which had triggered the massacre. It took just four days to announce a judicial inquiry into the assassination.

  14. The Bharatiya Janata Party contradicted the Government’s claim then that only 600 people were killed in the Delhi carnage. On the basis of a survey done by its cadres, the BJP came out with a death toll of 2,700, which is remarkably close to the official tally of 2,733 arrived at three years later.

  15. Punishment suffered Hanged 93 28 121 Imprisoned for life 2147 499 2646 killed at Jallianwalla Bagh 799 501 1300 Killed at Budge Budge Khat 67 46 113 Killed in Kooka Movement 91 - 91 Killed in Akali Movement 500 - 500 Grand total 3697 1074 4771 The Beginning – Freedom Struggle Total Sikhs Non Sikhs

  16. The Independence - Conference in England 1946 • The Sikh reps.Tara Singh, Kartar Singh, Harnam Singh & Baldev Singh, stood for a united India, but if it was to be divided then they would want a separate Sikh State. • "a province where the Sikhs were in a dominant or almost a dominant position," and this should be free to federate either with Hindustan or Pakistan. • There should be a transfer of population under government auspices and said that within five or ten years nearly all the Sikh population could be concentrated in the proposed Khalistan.

  17. Sikh Killings in Pakistan • As august 1947 approached Pakistani Muslim started slaughtering Sikhs in Rawalpindi and Lahore Districts to get rid of them from Pakistan. • On August 15, Punjab was split. 2 million Sikhs were left in Pakistan. • Those who moved after Aug 15- faced murder and despoliation.

  18. Promises… • "...in future, the Congress shall accept no constitution which does not meet with the satisfaction of the Sikhs" (The Lahore session of the Congress Party. December 31, 1929) • "...the brave Sikhs of Punjab are entitled to special considerations. I see nothing wrong in an area set up in the North of India wherein, the Sikhs can also experience the glow of freedom." (Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lahore Bulletin, January 9, 1930)

  19. "I ask you to accept my word and the Resolution of the Congress that it will not betray a single individual much less a community. Let God be the witness of the bond that binds me and the Congress with you (the Sikhs). When pressed further Gandhi said that Sikhs would be justified in drawing their swords out of the scabbards as Guru Gobind Singh had asked them to, if Congress would renege on its commitment." - (Mohandas Gandhi, Young India, March 19, 1931)

  20. "...Master Tara Singh saw me on his return from Delhi, and seemed really concerned at the approaching departure of the British. He demanded Khalistan, with transfer of population, or a new state from Jumna to Chenab, in which the Sikhs would not be oppressed" - (Sir E. Jenkins, Governor of the Punjab, 15th April, 1946)

  21. After 1947 • " To preserve the unity of India, if we have to eradicate 2-kror [ 20 millions ] Sikhs, we will do so. • (Balram Jhakhar, a colleague of P.V. Narsimharao, the former Indian Prime Minister)

  22. " The Sikhs are a lawless people and a menace to the law abiding Hindus ... The [Government] should take strict measures against them." • (Pandit Nehru, Indian Prime Minister, on Sikhs) • Kya main taqat dushman (the enemy -the Sikhs) ke haath main de dun (How can I entrust power into the hands of the enemies).“ • (Jawahar Lal Nehru, 1961)

  23. " I hate the very physique of a Sikh because of the turban and beard. " • (Vallabh Bhai Patel, late Indian top politician) • "I don't give a damn if the Golden Temple and whole of Amritsar are destroyed, I want Bhindranwale dead." • (Indira Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, communicating with Gen. Vaidya during "Operation Blue Star")

  24. "We have broken the back of the Sikhs and we will get them elsewhere." • (M. M. K. Wali, Indian Foreign Secretary, June 7, 1984, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio 740, As It Happens) • "Let us teach these bastards (the Sikhs) a lesson.“ • (Rajiv Gandhi, October 31, 1984)

  25. "... a threat to the villagers that all males would be killed and their women taken to army camps to breed a new race if there was any militant activity in their village." • (Brig. R. P. Sinha, Indian Army, March 8, 1991) • "You do not know the might of our armed forces. We will eliminate 10,000 Sikh youths and the world will know nothing about it.“ • (Chander Shekhar, former Prime Minister of India, CK, 21st October, 1991)

  26. The Fight for our rights. • It began in 1950 when R.S.S. and Arya Samaj Declared Punjab as a Hindu state with Hindi as its state language. • Golden Temple was refused Holy Status by Indian Govt. • A new Hindu temple was built in Amritsar and immediately given the Holy status.

  27. Sikhs were continually alienated from Govt. and the policies made by the Govt. were entirely anti-sikh. • The ‘Arya Samaj’ published “Satyarath Prakash” • Sikhs:Page 443 (chapter IX) Guru Nanak did not possess any learning . . . he wanted to show that he had some pretensions to the knowledge of Sanskrit . . . anxious to gain public applause, fame and glory . . . He was vain . . . resorted to gain reputation and acquire fame. Page 446 . . . if Sikhs were to read vedas, they would no doubt embrace vedic religion

  28. The anti-Sikh mentality of former Home Minister Gulzarilal Nanda, and former Prime Minister Charan Singh are perhaps due to their origin in Arya Samaj and also responsible for influencing the usually impartial attitude of the Congress towards minorities.

  29. The Sikh Demands of 1953 • Chandigarh to be declared capital of Punjab. (Like Bombay was returned to Maharashtra in 1960 after depriving them for 4 years). • River-water dispute should be referred to the Supreme Court. • Appointment of a commission of linguistic experts to go into the territorial claims by Punjab and Haryana, treating each village as a unit and the language actually spoken and contiguity as the sole criteria. • Return of 3 Punjab thermal-head-works back to Punjab administration. • Removal of discrimination in the Armed Forces by lifting the limit of 2% on Sikh recruitment. • Enactment of All India Gurdwara Act, covering historical Gurdwaras.

  30. Continuing Struggle • After 18yrs of suffering – Punjab was officially formed as a state. Haryana was split from Punjab in 1961. • Punjab was the last state to be formed. • Chandigarh was given to Haryana. • Darshan Singh Pheruman fasted for 74 days before dieing to take back Chandigarh.

  31. January 26, 1970 Sant Fateh Singh, President of Shiromani Akali Dal went on fast declaring that if demand for restoring Chandigarh to Punjab is not met, he would burn himself alive On February 1, 1970 the Government announced its decision to hand over Chandigarh to Punjab, in lieu of areas of Fazilka and Abohar Tehsil to Haryana.

  32. Demands of 73 • On October 16, 1973 "The Anandpur Sahib Resolution." • regional autonomy for punjab • return of Chandigarh to Punjab • special status for Sikhs in the Indian union • a supreme court review of Punjab river waters, • return of the Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab, • return of the administration of the Punjab Electric Board as well as the three thermal headworks to Punjab • provision of a fare share of electricity to Punjab • and some minor religious demands

  33. Massacre of 1978 • Nirankari Cult with the help of the Congress and Arya Samaj stormed Golden Temple. • Their Leader Gurbachan was provided with a DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT, to spread his anti-sikh message.

  34. Gurbachan openly declared that he would put his foot on the Guru Granth Sahib, claimed that the 11th Guru was just a bundle of papers and that he was the real Guru. • Vaisakhi 1978, they held a procession [in Golden Temple] shouting filthy slogans against the Satguru and shouting insults at the Sikh religion.

  35. About 125 GurSikhs decided to hold a peaceful protest against the procession of Nirankaris • The GurSikhs asked the Police to try and stop the Nirankaris. • In Return- Nirankaris along with police armed with Machine Guns, Spears, hand-made Bombs, Axes & Acid bottles attacked the unarmed GurSikhs.

  36. Among the killed was Babbar Khalsa, Several AKJ leaders along with other GurSikhs. • SGPC issued a resolution banning Nirankaris and urging every Sikh to stop them. • Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale took on this task.

  37. Nirankari Leader, Gurbachan escaped to UK, then Canada. Later he was arrested and given a trial and then acquitted even after 10 witnesses went against him • He was Gunned down on April 24, 1980

  38. From 1977 to 1983, Bhindrenwale led his agitation against Arya Samajis and other fanatic Hindu organizations who were working against Sikhs as well as many Sikhs who were working with Hindu extremists. • Many of his followers were young rural Sikhs, who had been disappointed with state and central government due to unemployment, poverty and other problems.

  39. The Revenge • With a view to win over Hindu majority of North India and Punjab, Indira Gandhi mischievously exploited the anti-Nirankari movement in Punjab to create communal antagonism between Sikhs and Hindus in 1980. • State terrorism against devout Amritdhari Sikhs was started in Punjab through her stooge Chief Minister of Punjab, Darbara Singh, during 1982. • As a reaction to the Police terrorism on Sikhs, the devout Sikhs started taking revenge on Police and officials who ordered persecution of Sikhs in 1982-83.

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