“During the Army action on the Golden Temple there were many cases of indiscriminate killing of ordinary people including unarmed women and children. The post mortem reports state that some of those killed had their hands tied behind their backs. The killed included 16 sevadars of Baba Kharak Singh from Gurdwara Dera Baba Sham Singh, located 50 yards from the Golden Temple. Baba Kharak Singh is an old revered Sant and a pacifist. One June 7, those 16 men, including 70yearold Joginder Singh and 18yearold Harde Singh were pulled out from the dera. Their hands were tied behind their backs and they were made to walk through the streets of Aita Mandi Bazar and shot dead at a point opposite the Delhi Cloth Mills shop by India’s Border Security Force personnel. Soldiers belonging to the Bihar Regiment and the BSF also looted the store of the Dera and decamped goods worth Rs 70,000, and half a kilogram of gold. This was reported to us by the Granthi of the Gurdwara. The report of the looting and killing was confirmed by the eyewitnesses.

“The Sikh reference library was burnt on the 9th of June, one day after the visit of the President of India. This is hard to explain since there was no civilian in the Golden Temple at that time. “The Rajdhani Express, India’s premier train… on the outskirts of New Delhi the train stopped (unscheduled halt), and about a hundred people, pounding windows with iron rods and stones… wielding sticks came in to compartment and shouted ‘come out, all Sikhs in here” . . . there was no response . . . “Here! Here! Come here! We have got one of these fellows”. . . one of the marauding youths was pulling a Sikh man by his long hair, three other attackers followed, hitting the Sikh with rods . . . they hauled the beaten, deeply wounded man outside . . . a few moments later an acrid smell floated into the car through the broken windows. The crowd parted and we saw flames leap up from the body of the Sikh . . . we could only watch from the window.”

The Tribune, Oakland, November 3, 1984

Article extracted from this publication >>  October 25, 1985