Story of Operation Blue Star: With the defeat in the 1977 general elections, Indira Gandhi had to face a tremendous defeat in the Punjab province as well. The Akali Dal government led by Parkash Singh Badal came to power in Punjab. To get rid of this defeat, the Congress resorted to a man who created upheaval in the entire country except Punjab within seven years. Operation Blue Star was the result of this turmoil, which changed the course of Indian politics. ‘Operation Blue Star’ An event in the history of India which is called the script of the death of Indira Gandhi, which was written somewhere by Indira Gandhi herself. Today 33 years have been completed of this incident. Today is the anniversary of the same Operation Blue Star. Operation Blue Star came to an end with the death of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale on this day itself. Let us know who is Bhindranwale and how Operation Blue Star changed the course of politics of the country.
It was not expected that Bhindranwale would choose the path of terrorism.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was made Jathedar of ‘Damdami Taksal’, the main branch of religious propaganda of Sikhs, in the year 1977. During that time Bhindranwale had become a big face in the politics of Punjab. Now he was made a pawn in Pambaj’s politics to beat the Akalis and this work was done well by Giani Zail Singh and Sanjay Gandhi. But Bhindranwale became trouble. Senior journalist Kuldip Nayar wrote in his book ‘Beyond the Line an Autobiography’ that Sanjay Gandhi has agreed to give money to Bhindranwale. However, he had no idea that Bhindranwale would choose the path of terrorism.
Indira Gandhi got a landslide victory in the 1980 elections. Congress got 351 seats out of 529 seats in Lok Sabha. Giani Zail Singh was made Home Minister by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In the Punjab assembly elections too, the Congress defeated the Akali Dal. Darbara Singh was made the Chief Minister of Punjab. After the defeat in Punjab, the Akali Dal went on its old issue. The issue which is known from the Anantapur Sahib Resolution in 1973. In which unilateral demands were made on the sharing of water of Chandigarh and rivers. There was a tussle going on between the Akalis and the Darbara Singh government that the politics of Punjab got caught in the clutches of language and religion. It was the time of census and people were asked about their religion and language. During this period, the newspaper Punjab Kesari started a campaign regarding Hindi, due to which the atmosphere got worse. Hardcore Sikhs were angered by the Hindi campaign, including Bhindranwale.
Demand to make Punjab a separate country gained momentum
Meanwhile, on 9 September 1981, armed men shot Lala Jagat Narayan, the editor of Punjab Kesari. The blame also came on Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. After the murder of Lala Jagat Narayan, Bhindranwale was arrested from Gurdwara Gurdarshan Prakash in Amritsar on 15 September. But got bail due to lack of evidence. Politics was going on on Bhindranwale that the demand for making Punjab a separate country gained momentum. Violence and bloodshed was increasing. Bhindranwale was also in a tizzy after his release. Meanwhile, the Asiad Games were scheduled to be held in Delhi in the months of November and December of 1982. In protest against which Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale announced a protest. Now one and a half thousand people were arrested in the name of security.
Now the anger of the hardline Sikhs increased, which Bhindranwale took advantage of. The voice of the moderates began to weaken. The growing influence of Bhindranwale alienated the Akalis. Meanwhile, Punjab DIG AS Atwal was murdered on the steps of the Golden Temple. AS Atwal’s body was lying on the steps of the Golden Temple for hours and no one dared to remove his body from the steps of the temple. Chief Minister Darbara Singh had to plead with Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to remove the dead body of AS Atwal. After this incident, Indira Gandhi sought advice from Giani Zail Singh to send the police inside the Golden Temple. But he refused. This raised the spirits of Bhindranwale. The situation in Punjab was becoming explosive. The Akalis also entered the field. In two months, thirty thousand arrests were made. The demand was to pass the resolution of Anantapur Sahib.
Hindu travelers were selectively killed on October 5, 1983
Meanwhile, on October 5, 1983, Sikh extremists stopped the bus going from Kapurthala to Jalandhar. Hindu passengers on the bus were selectively killed. The day after this incident, Indira Gandhi removed the government of Darbara Singh. President’s rule was imposed in Punjab. Even after the removal of the government, the situation did not change. Violence, killings continued in Punjab. But Indira Gandhi was not able to take any strict action against Bhindranwale.
On December 15, 1983, Bhindranwale along with his armed comrades captured the Golden Temple. Bhindranwale captured the Akal Takht of the Golden Temple. Akaltakht means a throne which is made for eternity. From here the decrees for Sikhism are issued. There was opposition to the occupation of the Akaltakht, but Bhindranwale did not care. The period of violence and beatings continued. Bhindranwale wanted Hindus to leave Punjab and leave. This was a direct challenge to the Delhi government. On the other hand, the difficulties of Indira Gandhi were increasing. He too had to reach a decision.
Indira Gandhi handed over Punjab to the army
Indira Gandhi finally handed over Punjab to the army on June 1, 1984. The code word was named ‘Operation Blue Star’. The leadership of this operation was handed over to Major General Kuldeep Singh Brar. The 9th Division of the Army had advanced towards the Golden Temple. On June 3, journalists were evicted from Amritsar. The border with Pakistan was sealed. People living in the temple premises were asked to come out. This appeal was made time and again. Only 129 people came out till 7 pm on 5th June. People told that the people of Bhindranwale are preventing them from coming out.
On June 5, 1984, the action of the army began at 7 pm. Throughout the night, the firing continued from both sides. On June 6, at 5:20 am, it was decided that tanks would have to be deployed to remove the terrorists hiding in the Akaltakht. During the operation, the library of valuable documents and books caught fire. Many bullets fired in the firing also went towards Harmandarsaheb. The Akaltakht also suffered heavy losses.
492 people including terrorists were killed
On June 6, the firing continued from morning till evening. Late night the body of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was found by the army. Operation Blue Star ended on the morning of 7 June. A total of 83 soldiers were killed in Operation Blue Star, including three army officers. Apart from this, 248 were injured. The death toll of terrorists and others stood at 492.