Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs

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Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs - Commemmorative Volume on the occasion of 30th anniversary of Sikh Genocide of November 1984 by The Sikh Forum.

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  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 1

    Never Ever We ForgetOur Martyrs

    Carnage '84

    A Homage to the Innocents Killed in November 1984

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 2

    Never Ever We ForgetOur Martyrs

    Commemorative Volumeon the occasion of30th anniversary ofSikh Genocide ofNovember 1984

    by

    The Sikh Forum

    Published in Nov. 2014First Edition

    The Sikh ForumNew DelhiTel.: 9650308581, 9313290538, 9910143121E-mail : thesikhforum@gmail.com

    Printed by :Sikh FoundationNew Delhiwww.sikhfoundation.in

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 3

    Dedicatedto the Innocents

    Killed inNovember 1984

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 4

    Carnage Nov84(A Singular Genocide of its kind)

    The Carnage Nov84 qualifies to go down in the history, as the most cruelatrocity ever inflicted on the mankind. Thousands of law abiding innocent citizenswere mercilessly slaughtered in broad day light on the streets of Delhi and otherplaces, not by any foreign invaders but by own countrymen abetted by theauthorities, the protectors of Civil Society.

    The victims, sons of the soil, a tiny minority (Sikhs) of our Nation, a communitywith a proud record of unmatched sacrifices spread over five centuries of theirexistence for the cause of motherland and civil society.

    The revenge killings, were State sponsored, as two Sikh Security Guards,deeply hurt and provoked by the full scale Army assault, (Operation Blue Star) onGolden Temple, had assassinated the then Prime Minister. The assassins, one waskilled in this scuffle with security man and the other was legally punished with theaward of Death penalty.

    But, the killers of thousands of Sikhs all over India, about 3000 in Delhi alone,even after 30 years of Carnage have gone unpunished. The souls of the innocentvictims would be crying for Justice, denied thus for.

    The Government of India would do well, to atone for the failure of thethen Rulers in Nov84 to protect lives and property of a large number of itsinnocent Citizens in Nov84.

    Maj. Gen.(R) M.S. Chadha

    President The Sikh Forum

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 5

    Message

    I appreciate that the "Sikh Forum" is planning to release commemorativevolume of its publication on the occasion of 30th anniversary of Sikh Genocide ofNovember 1984. "November 1984" is black chapter in the History of Sikhs in Delhiand elsewhere in the country. In November 1984 thousands of men, women andchildren were massacred and burnt to death their houses were torched. burningtyres were put around their neck, shops and houses were looted. Goons and Riotersunder the patronage of their political bosses were searching & trying to kill as manyinnocent Sikhs as possible so that they could appease their bosses. There was acomplete anarchy & failure of law and order machinery. Provocative speeches bysome Politicians aggravated the situation. They even provided lists of Sikh residentsto their touts to kill them. Justice has not been given to the victims of 1984 Anti Sikhcarnage. Our wounds are still green and the Govt. has done nothing to heal them.Most of the killers are still roaming free and none of the politicians responsible forthese riots have been punished. As the famous saying goes "Justice delayed is justicedenied", thirty years have been passed but Sikh Community still continues strugglefor justice to the breaved and affected persons.

    I appreciate your efforts to work for the cause of justice, protection, of humanrights and strengthening the secular values. I pray to ` Akal Purakh Waheguru' to giveyou strength and courage to continue your efforts relentlessly. I am sure this publicationwill be an eye opener and the younger generation who is not aware of these incidentswill be enlightened.

    Manjit Singh G.K.President,

    Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 6

    Unforgettable 1984

    I clearly remember that on 31 October 2014 I was in Sanaa the capital ofNorth Yemen as part of the official delegation of the state visit of the President ofIndia to that country. Early in the morning a telephone call came from Air Vice MarshalR.S.Naidu the Military Secretary to the President of India that everybody has toreach the airport as the President has cancelled the State visit and was going to India..When we reached the airport the President also reached after some time alongwith the President of Yemen. Immediately on special Air India aircraft we proceededtowards Delhi.I immediately went to the cabin of Giani ji and there he told me thatShri Alexander who was the Principal Secretary of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi hadcalled him and had informed that the PM has been shot by her bodyguards and shehas been taken to the hospital. Nothing more was disclosed to Giani ji. After comingout of the Presidents cabin I briefed the media contingent about the happenings inNew Delhi. Prabhu Chawla ,Sardar Satinder Singh , Inderjit and other Journalistsstarted forming their opinions .Prabhu Chawla and Satinder Singh said that IndiraGandhi must have died in the shootout as she has been shot from close range by thebody guards.

    Giani Ji discussed the future course of action with his Secretary and RomeshBhandri the than Foreign Secretary . Giani Ji had made up his mind to appoint ShriRajiv Gandhi as the Prime Minister and he disclosed this to the Journalists .As therewas no facility of telephone in the aircraft during those days so no further informationwas forthcoming .The special aircraft of the President landed at Delhi airport at16:00 Hrs. From airport he went to AIIMS and normal convoy of officers in carsfollowed .The security on the route was less than expected . My car was fourth inthe convoy of the President and when we were passing through R.K.Puram somemiscreants were seen to be shouting slogans .They immediately rushed to the carand started hitting my car with lathis and threw a burning torch inside the car but myalert driver immediately threw it out and drove the car out of the harms way towardsRashtrapati Bhawan.I was saved with grace of Akaal Purkh .No policeman came tohelp us at that time . During those times our drivers used to wear turbans .WhenGiani Ji after visiting Shrimati Indira Gandhi came to his car ,slogans were beingraised against him and the mob was closing in on his car .The security detachment of

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 7

    the President cleared the way for the car with great difficulty .Immediately afterreaching Rashtrapati Bhawan he summoned the Vice President R. Venkataraman andsent him to All India Radio to announce the death of Shrimati Indira Gandhi. At 18:00Hrs Shri Rajiv Gandhi was administered the Oath and was appointed Prime Ministeralong with four other Cabinet Ministers including Buta Singh.

    At about 20:00 hrs I started receiving telephone calls that anti Sikh mob wason the rampage targeting Sikhs and their properties. And there was hue and cry allover .I immediately went to Giani jis room and in the room and there were presenthis daughter Dr Gurdip Kaur and Sardar Kulwant Singh Private Secretary .He wassurprised initially but when complete report was given to him , the seriousness ofthe situation dawned on him .I came back to my house and throughout the night Iwas getting reports of atrocities .In the morning I was informed by Kulwant Singhthat till late night Giani Ji tried to contact the Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi but invain.This is very surprising as few hours ago he was administered oath and wasappointed as PM by him. This fact was recently confirmed by Dr Gurdip Kaur thedaughter of the President who was present at Rashtrapati Bhawan when the situationwas unfolding.She also confirmed that the President was helpless.Next day thesituation became worse as there was large scale genocide of the Sikhs and thedestruction of their home and properties. The situation in the outer areas wasworst and even spread to the posh areas of Delhi. The Sikhs were attacked verysystematically and killed by burning them alive. The Historians compared it with thegenocide done by Nadir Shah centuries back in Delhi. The Gurudwaras in theColonies were burnt down and the police was no where to be seen. The police wasassisting the mob in targeting the Sikhs and was seen to be attacking the Sikhs whowere defending themselves.

    I remember that I.K.Gujral,Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh and General J.S.Arorahad come to the Rashtrapati Bhawan and painted a very grim picture.They asked forthe intervention of the President . They also met the Home Minister P. NarsimhaRao.The whole Government was busy in the funeral arrangements and nobodybothered about the Sikhs.Even the Sikhs belonging to Congress Party were attackedwhile on way to Teen Murti Bhawan to pay their last respects to Shrimati IndiraGandhi .On that day Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib was also attacked and the granthisinside were killed. The gate of the Gurudwara was burnt,It was all visible fromRashtrapati Bhawan. The whole day Army was not called and only in the evening theArmy was asked for by the Govt. Ironically it was called from Meerut and not fromDelhi Cantt., It only arrived on 2nd November 1984 the next day. And it is notknown that who was responsible for the delay till date .When the Army arrived itdid only flag march and no shoot at sight orders were given .

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 8

    I remember that at that hour of difficulty B.J.P leaders Shri V.K.Malhotra andMadan Lal Khurana had met the President and told him that Sikh passengers in trainswere being dragged and killed at Saifabad and Ghaziabad railway stations. MalhotraJi took team of volunteers to Saifabad and saved many Sikhs. For three days Delhiwas orphaned and there was no sign of law and order , thousands of Sikhs weremassacred in Delhi and at other places in India only because they were wearingturbans .Many Sikh army Officers and Other Ranks were also killed in the Trains andother places.

    This cruel reality cannot be forgotten and there are many unansweredquestions that

    * Why innocent were massacred?

    * Why the Police connived with the mob ?

    * Why the army was not called immediately ?

    * Who were the conspirators in the genocide of Sikhs?

    * We are still waiting for the answers !

    Tarlochan Singh

    Ex M.P . &

    Chairman Minority Commission

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 9

    The Nightmare ofFirst Week of November 1984

    Some dates remain permanently fixed in your memory. In my case it startedon October 31, 1984. I was then a judge in Delhi High Court. I was coming back inthe evening after inspecting Shahdara Courts when I heard the tragic news of killingof Mrs. Indira Gandhi. It was a shock to the whole nation, because notwithstandingthe gory murder of Gandhiji, India had not believed in political assassination. Butthen individuals reactions to circumstances are difficult to fathom. The killing wasdone by two body guard posted at Mrs. Gandhi residence. One of them wasimmediately shot on the spot. The other persons along with one other were alsofound to be involved in the murder and were convicted. It was possibly a continuationof commutative effect of equally tragic and unpardonable decision of Mrs. Gandhi tohave sent army in the Golden Temple. The court found that there was only conspiracyby these three persons to kill Mrs. Gandhi. No other outside person was found tobe involved in conspiracy. But what followed assassination is a nightmare which willever haunt the nation it was the cold calculated murder generated by Congressparty in power resulting in the about 3000 Sikhs being butchered in cold blood. Thisunpardonable crime by a political Party, like that committed in Gujarat in 2002 willremain a permanent scar of shame on those who participated and encouraged it.

    The situation outside was so horrible because the mobs were going roundDelhi targeting Sikhs there was total absence of law and order looting of Sikhhouses was openly done. Such was the unchecked situation that one of my colleaguein Delhi High Court, a Sikh judge and his family was accommodated in the lounge ofHigh Court, as we could not assure them safety and protection in their home whichwas hardly less then 1 K.m. from the High Court. The shame of this helplessness stillhaunts me.

    I myself went to an area where my personal Secretary (a Sikh) and other HighCourt staff had their residences. Fortunately they unitedly look a determined standand the marauders were somehow kept away. Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Society had openedoffice in its premises for riot victims. There volunteers were being sent to the cityand trying to help Sikh victims as much as possible by making their arrangement fortheir safety. I used to go in the evening to Lajpat Bhawan to participate in the

  • Never Ever We Forget Our Martyrs / 10

    programme for collection of clothes and other materials and for detailing visits ofvolunteers to the affected localities.

    Police was not recording FIRs and placing all kinds of hindrances. An applicationwas moved complaining about this before me to complain. It is correct that normallyFIR have to be registered in the police station which has jurisdiction over that particularlocality. But in that fearful situation it was hardly possible for Sikhs from variousareas to go to separate police stations to get FIR recorded. So I issued notice andtold the government Advocate that I am ordering that all FIRs which had alreadybeen collected throughout Delhi by People Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) will betaken to one police station (which the government may designate) and filed there.After this it will be for the government to distribute these FIRs to therespective police stations. To be honest, I knew my order may not have been strictlylegal but then circumstances were so extraordinary that not to have so actedwould have been worse it would have cast a shadow on the strength of the courtswhich are expected to come to the aid of oppressed (at all times). The character andstrength of the courts is judged alone by the fact as to how they act in suchextraordinary circumstances.

    Another instance arose when people were demanding the appointment of aCommission to enquire into 1984 killings. A PIL was filed which came up before myDivision Bench. The then Attorney General appeared for the Union Governmentand argued against. I however felt that it was important matter and needed to beexamined at regular hearing. My colleague Wad J. was also of the same opinion. Sowe fixed the matter for regular hearing after a short vacation of High Court when itreopens. But such was the panic in the government circles that undue pressure wasput on the then High Court Chief Justice. The result was that when High Courtopened after vacation, I found that my roster had been changed I was now put oncriminal side the result was obvious the matter could not be heard by me. Thematter was then heard by another Bench and the petition dismissed. But such wasthe indignant public reaction that the Government itself appointed Justice RanganathMisra Commission. But its fin...