All acts of violence are condemnable and no justification can ever be given especially a horrendous event involving lives of thousands of people. In this context even decades later Rajiv Gandhi’s statement, “When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes” make everyone numb to react.
Anti – Sikh riots in the aftermath of assassination of Indira Gandhi is a blot in the history of Sikhs. 4000 innocent Sikhs in Delhi lost their lives and justice still evade with culprits moving freely.
The number 1984 has become synonymous with biggest carnage in Indian history after partition. The number refers to a terrible year when on this day (31 October, 1984) Indira Gandhi was assassinated which led to massacre of innocent Sikhs across the country.
It all began with Indira Gandhi’s assassination, which preceded the army action to control Khalistani protestors and the incident took place at Akal Takht, one of the holiest Sikh Shrines.
This infuriated Sikhs across the country and two of Indira Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards – Beant and Sawant Singh – killed her on October 31, 1984.
A day later on November 1, violence erupted and across city of Delhi and other parts of the country where it was estimated that over 3,000 Sikhs were killed and senior Congress leaders like Jagdish Tytler and HKL Bhagat were responsible were believed to be the main conspirators of the Sikh carnage.
Congress may try hard to term Sikh carnage as emotional outburst but it is a well-known fact that it was planned move and state machinery behind all the act of violence.
Jagmohan Singh Khurmi, a Chandigarh based journalist wrote in The Tribune:
“Such wide-scale violence cannot take place without police help. Delhi Police, whose paramount duty was to upkeep law and order situation and protect innocent lives, gave full help to rioters who were in fact working under able guidance of leaders like Jagdish Tytler and H K L Bhagat.”
It was widely published in news reports that prisoners from jails and lock-ups were set free and were provided fall the provisions, support and instruction to “teach the Sikhs a lesson”.