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About Operation Bluestar


Slogans favouring Khalistan (sovereign state for Sikhs) were raised recently in the premises of the Golden Temple complex in Punjab’s Amritsar during the 40th anniversary of ‘Operation Bluestar’.


Facts for Prelims

About Operation Bluestar

  • Overview: Operation Bluestar was a military action initiated by the Indian government in June 1984 under the direction of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Its primary objective was to expel militant Sikh separatists who had taken control of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, a site of immense religious significance to Sikhs.
  • Key Figure: The operation targeted a group led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a prominent Sikh fundamentalist and the former head of the Sikh seminary Damdami Taksal. Bhindranwale was a central figure in the rising Khalistan separatist movement.
  • Operation Goals: The mission aimed to reclaim control of the Golden Temple complex while attempting to minimize civilian casualties.
Timeline of the Operation:
  1. June 1-3, 1984: The Indian Army began deploying troops around the Golden Temple. Bhindranwale and his followers put up fierce resistance, resulting in intense gunfights.
  2. June 3-6, 1984: The Army escalated its assault using heavy artillery, tanks, and helicopters, causing significant damage to the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikh authority, and other parts of the Golden Temple.
  3. June 6, 1984: The operation concluded with the Indian Army gaining control over the Golden Temple complex.
  • Reactions: Despite the army’s success in achieving its immediate goals, the operation sparked outrage among many Sikhs, who viewed it as a direct attack on their faith.
  • Casualties: Official reports state that around 400 people were killed during the operation, including 87 soldiers.
  • Assassination of Indira Gandhi: In retaliation for the operation, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards five months later.

-Source: The Hindu

June 2024