|Operation Blue Star|
|File:Operation Bluestar Aftermath on Akal Takht.jpg|
Akal Takht being repaired by the Indian Government after the attack
Central Reserve Police Force
Border Security Force
|Commanders and leaders|
Major General Kuldip Singh Brar|
Lt Gen Ranjit Singh Dyal
Lt Gen Krishnaswamy Sundarji
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale†|
10,000 armed troops. of 9th Division, Parachute Regiment and Artillery units|
700 jawans of CRPF 4th Battallion and BSF 7th Battallion
150 Jawans of Punjab Armed Police and officers from Harmandir Police Station.
|175 – 200|
|Casualties and losses|
|136 dead ||
140–200 combatants killed|
492–5000 civilians killed
Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation which took place 3–8 June 1984, ordered by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in order to remove criminal terrorist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab. Bhindranwale had earlier taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980. Bhindranwale was accused of amassing weapons in the gurudwara in order to start a major armed uprising. These reasons are contested by most Sikh scholars who claim that the Akal Takhat is a temporal seat and keeping weapons in gurudwaras is well within the precincts of Sikhism. Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer says that Indira Gandhi attacked the Harmandir Sahib complex to present herself as a great hero in order to win forthcoming elections.
The operation had two components: Operation Metal, confined to the Harmandir Sahib complex, and Operation Shop, which raided the Punjabi countryside to capture any suspects. Following it, Operation Woodrose was launched to thoroughly scan the Punjab countryside. The operation was carried out by Indian Army troops with tanks, artillery, helicopters, armoured vehicles, and chemical weapons. Actual casualty figures given by Kuldip Singh Brar put the number of deaths among the Indian army at 83 and injuries at 220. According to the official estimate, 492 civilians were killed, though some independent claims run as high as 5000. In addition, the CBI is considered responsible for seizing historical artifacts and manuscripts in the Sikh Reference Library before burning it down. The military action led to an uproar amongst Sikhs worldwide and the increased tension following the action led to assaults on members of the Sikh community within India. Many Sikh soldiers in the Indian army mutinied, many Sikhs resigned from armed and civil administrative office and several returned awards and honours they had received from the Indian government.
Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, two of her Sikh bodyguards, in what is viewed as an act of vengeance. Subsequently, more than 30,000 Sikhs were killed in the ensuing November 1984 Sikh Genocide. Within the Sikh community itself, Operation Blue Star has taken on considerable historical significance and is often compared to what Sikhs call 'the great massacre' by the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Sikh holocaust of 1762.
Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Harmandir Sahib
Throughout his career Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale remained in contact with Indira Gandhi. Bhindranwale had earlier taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980, when he was accused of the assassination of Nirankari Gurbachan Singh. The Nirankari Baba, also known as Baba Gurbachan, had been the target of an attack by followers of Bhindranwale, outside Harmandir Sahib. On 13 April 1978, Nirankari's Baba Gurbachan is alleged to have ridiculed 10th Guru Gobind Singh in a Nirankari Convention held in Amritsar. This prompted Akhand Kirtani Jatha to lead a peaceful protest against the offensive actions by Baba Gurbachan. Police responded to the Sikhs' peaceful protest by opening fire on them. Amritsar police used guns to fire at the protesters. In the ensuing violence, several people were killed: two of Bhindranwale's followers, eleven members of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (total 13 Sikhs) and three Nirankaris.
In 1982, Bhindranwale and approximately 600 armed followers moved into a guest-house called the Guru Nanak Niwas, in the precinct of Harmandir Sahib. From here he met and was interviewed by international television crews.
By 1983, Harmandir Sahib became a fort for a large number of separatists. On 23 April 1983, the Punjab Police Deputy Inspector General A. S. Atwal was shot dead as he left the Harmandir Sahib compound. The following day, after the murder, Harchand Singh Longowal (then president of Shiromani Akali Dal) hinted at the involvement of Bhindranwale in the murder.
Harmandir Sahib compound and some of the surrounding houses were fortified. The Statesman reported on 4 July that light machine-guns and semi-automatic rifles were known to have been brought into the compound. Faced with imminent army action and with the foremost Sikh political organisation, Shiromani Akali Dal (headed by Harchand Singh Longowal), abandoning him, Bhindranwale declared "This bird is alone. There are many hunters after it".
Time magazine described Amritsar in November 1983: "These days it more closely resembles a city of death. Inside the temple compound, violent Sikh fanatics wield submachine guns, resisting arrest by government security forces. Outside, the security men keep a nervous vigil, all too aware that the bodies of murdered comrades often turn up in the warren of tiny streets around the shrine." On 15 December 1983, Bhindranwale was forced to move out of Guru Nanak Niwas house by members of the Babbar Khalsa who acted with Harcharan Singh Longowal's support. Longowal by now feared for his own safety.
Operation Blue Star was launched to eliminate Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers who had sought cover in the Amritsar Harmandir Sahib Complex. The armed Sikhs within the Harminder Sahib were led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and former Maj. Gen.Shabeg Singh. lt. Gen. Kuldip Singh Brar had command of the action, operating under Gen. Sunderji.
Indira Gandhi first asked Lt. Gen. S. K. Sinha, then Vice-Chief of Indian Army and selected to become the next Army chief, to prepare a position paper for assault on the Golden Temple. Lt. Gen. Sinha advised against any such move, given its sacrilegious nature according to Sikh tradition. He suggested the government adopt an alternative solution. A controversial decision was made to replace him with General Arun Shridhar Vaidya as the Chief of the Indian army. General Vaidya, assisted by Lt. Gen. K Sundarji as Vice-Chief, planned and coordinated Operation Blue Star.
On 3 June, a 36-hour curfew was imposed on the state of Punjab with all methods of communication and public travel suspended. Electricity supplies were also interrupted, creating a total blackout and cutting off the state from the rest of India and the world. Complete censorship was enforced on the news media.
The Indian Army stormed Harmandir Sahib on the night of 5 June under the command of Kuldip Singh Brar. The forces had full control of Harmandir Sahib by the morning of 7 June. There were casualties among the army, civilians, and militants. Sikh leaders Bhindranwale and Shabeg Singh were killed in the operation.
June 1st 1984
At 12h40 the CRPF started firing at "Guru Ram Das Langar" building. The Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force, under orders of the Army, started firing upon the Complex, in which at least 8 people died.
June 2nd 1984
The Indian army had already sealed the international border from Kashmir to Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan. At least seven divisions of army were deployed in villages of Punjab. By the nightfall media and the press were gagged; the rail, road and air services in Punjab were suspended. Foreigners' and NRIs' entry was also banned . General Gauri Shankar was appointed as the Security Advisor to the Governor of Punjab. The water and electricity supply was cut off.
June 3rd 1984
A complete curfew was observed with the army and para-military patrolling the whole Punjab. The army sealed off all routes of ingress and exit around the temple complex.
June 4th 1984
The army started bombarding the historic Ramgarhia Bungas, the water tank, and other fortified positions. The army used Ordnance QF 25 pounder and achieved the objective of destroying outer defences laid by General Shabeg Singh. The army then placed tanks and APCs on the road separating the Guru Nanak niwas building, thus forming a wall of iron. About 100 died in pitched battles from both sides.
Nearly fifty thousand Sikhs gathered in the Golewal village about 25 km from Amritsar to fight the army, thirty thousand converged from the side of Batala in Gurdaspur district and about twenty thousand Sikhs gathered at Chauk Mehta, the headquarters of Damdami Taksal. Another formation of about twenty thousand were marching from the side of Harik Patan at confluence of the rivers Sutlej and Beas.
The army helicopters spotted the massive movements. General K. Sunderji sent tanks and APCs. Hundreds/thousands of Sikhs were killed at the rendezvous.
The artillery and small arms firing stopped for a while, and Gurcharan Singh Tohra, former head of SGPC was sent to negotiate with Bindrawale; however, he was unsuccessful and returned with empty hands. The firing resumed again.
June 5th 1984
In the morning, shelling started on the building inside the Harmandir Sahib complex. The 9th division launched a frontal attack on the Akal Takht, although it was unable to secure the building.
The Operation began with the BSF and CRPF attacking Hotel Temple View and Brahm Boota Akhara respectively on the southwest fringes of the complex. By 2200 hours both the structures were under their control. The Army simultaneously attacked various other Gurdwaras. The White paper mentions 42, but some accounts mention 74.
Late in the evening, the generals decided to launch a simultaneous attack from three sides. 10 Guards, 1 Para Commandos and Special Frontier Force (SFF) would attack from the main entrance of the complex, and 26 Madras and 9 Kumaon battalions from the hostel complex side entrance from the south. The objective of the 10 Guards was to secure the northern wing of the Temple complex and draw attention away from SFF who were to secure the western wing of the complex and 1 Para Commandos who were to gain a foothold in Akal Takht, and in Harmandir Sahab with the help of divers. 26 Madras was tasked with securing the southern and the eastern complexes, and the 9 Kumaon regiment with SGPC building and Guru Ramdas Serai. 12 Bihar was charged with providing a cordone and fire support to the other regiments by neutralising enemy positions under their observance.
As the troops entered the temple from the Northern entrance they were gunned down by light machine-gun fire from both sides of the steps/staircase. The few commandos who did get down the steps were driven back by a barrage of fire from the building on the south side of the sacred pool, forcing them to fall back, and thus they ultimately failed to reach the pavement around the Sacred Pool. The Commandos and SFF inched pillar by pillar to reach the western wing where they came under fire from Harmandir Sahib itself. However they were under strict instructions not to fire at Harmandir Sahib, the sanctum sanctorum, and instead told to focus on Akal Takth.
An initial attempt by the Commandos to lodge a foothold at Darshani Deori failed as they came under devastating fire, after which several attempts were made with varying degrees of success. Eventually different teams managed to reach Darshani Deori, a building north of the Nishant Sahib and started to fire at the Akal Takth and a red building towards its left, so that the SFF troops could get closer to the Darshani Deori and fire gas canisters at Akal Takth, which however bounced off and affected the troops instead. Meanwhile 26 Madras and 9 Garhwal Rifles (reserve troops) had come under heavy fire from the Langar rooftop, Guru Ramdas Serai and the buildings in the vicinity. Moreover they took a lot of time in forcing open the heavy Southern Gate which had to be blasted off with tank fire. This delay caused a lot a of casualties among the Indian troops fighting inside the complex who had to take a concentrated volley of fire.Inside the complex, 3 tanks and an APC had been brought in. Crawling was impossible as Shabeg Singh had placed light machine guns nine or ten inches above the ground. This attempt caused many casualties among the Indian troops. A third attempt to gain the Pool was made by a squad of 200 troops from both the Commandos and the Guards. On the southern side, the Madras and Garhwal battalions sucessfully accomplished the task.
Despite the mounting casualties, General Sunderji ordered a fourth assault by the Commandos. Facing the daunting prospect of moving over the heap of their bodies, a batch of volunteers from the Madras Regiment, led by a young captain, stormed into the building. They were the first troops to have "contacted" the Akal Takht. Of the 10 volunteers, seven died in the narrow passage as they ran into a large body of extremists, two crawled back severely wounded and only the captain returned unhurt much later, after trying to retrieve an injured junior commissioned officer (JCO), who was ultimately abandoned. He was later caught by Bhindranwale's men. Tortured, and blown up with dynamite sticks.
By this time Brigadier (now Major-General) Diwan, who had almost by coincidence found himself inside the temple, had taken charge of the affairs. A decision was now made to use harsher methods and armored personnel carriers (APC's) of a mechanized infantry battalion were called in.
Brigadier Diwan reported heavy casualties and requested more reinforcements. General Brar sent two companies of 15 Kumaon Regiment. This resulted in yet more heavy casualties, forcing Brigadier Diwan to request tank support. As the APC inched closer to the Akal Takth it was hit with an anti tank RPG, which immediately immobilized it.Brar also requested tank support. The tanks received the clearance to fire their main guns (105 mm high explosive Squash Head shells) only at around 7.30 am.
June 6th 1984
Due to shelling by Vijayanta tanks the Akal Takhat was destroyed. However, the primary objective of removing militants from other neighbouring structures continued for a further 24 hours. A group trying to escape from Akal Takht was mowed down by machine gun fire.
The resistance continued from the neighbouring structures of the Akal Takhat.
June 7th 1984
Army gained effective control of the Harmandir Sahib complex.
June 8–10, 1984
The Army fought about four militant Sikhs holed up in basement of a tower. A Colonel of Commandos was shot dead by an LMG burst while trying to force his way into the basement. By the afternoon of 10 June, the entire operation was completed by the army.
The Army placed total casualties at:
- Military: 136 killed and 220 wounded.
- Civilians: 492 dead
- Separatists: 433 out of the 1592 people apprehended
Mark Tully and Satish Jacob mention of use of tanks by the army at Sultanwind area over the civilian Sikhs marching towards Amritsar.
According to the independent sources number of military personnel dead amount to at least 700. In one of his speeches Rajiv Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, admitted to have lost more than 700 soldiers in this operation. CNN-IBN on the 25 death anniversary of Indira Gandhi, i.e. 31 Oct 2009, reported to have lost 365 commandos. Apart from this, an unspecified number of soldiers have been reported dead during the fighting at 38 other Gurdwaras in Punjab where an extreme resistance was reported at Muktsar and Moga. On top of this, more Indian army personnel would have perished during mutinies by Sikh soldiers at different military locations across India.
In one of the most cited instances, the Sikh soldiers-recruits at Sikh regimental center Ramgarh killed their Commanding Officer and after looting the arsenal started a long journey towards Punjab. And they could be restrained only after a massive resistance.
The operation also led to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984 by two of her Sikh bodyguards, triggering the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The widespread killing of Sikhs, principally in the national capital Delhi but also in other major cities in North India, led to major divisions between the Sikh community and the Indian Government. The army withdrew from Harmandir Sahib later in 1984 under pressure from Sikh demands.
General Arun Shridhar Vaidya, the Chief of Army Staff at the time of Operation Blue Star, was assassinated in 1986 in Pune by two Sikhs, Harjinder Singh Jinda and Sukhdev Singh Sukha. Both were sentenced to death, and hanged on 7 October 1992.
Sikh separatists continued to use and occupy the temple compound and on 1 May 1986, Indian paramilitary police entered the temple and arrested 200 separatists that had occupied Harmandir Sahib for more than three months. On 2 May 1986 the paramilitary police undertook a 12-hour operation to take control of Harmandir Sahib at Amritsar from several hundred separatists, but almost all the major radical leaders managed to escape. In June 1990, the Indian government ordered the area surrounding the temple to be vacated by local residents in order to prevent separatists activity around the temple.
The use of artillery in the congested inner city of Amritsar proved deadly to many civilian bystanders living near Harmandir Sahib. The media blackout throughout the Punjab resulted in widespread doubt regarding the official stories and aided the promotion of hearsay and rumour. The operation is criticised on four main grounds, the choice of time of attack by Government, heavy casualty, loss of property, and allegation of human rights violations by Army personnel.
S. K. Sinha, the then GOC of the Indian Army who was sacked at the last moment, had advised the government against the operation. He later criticized the Government's claim that the attack represented a "last resort". He also stated that the operation would have been conducted in an entirely different manner if he had planned it.
He also pointed out that a few days before the Operation, the Home Minister had announced that the troops would not be sent to Harmandir Sahib. But, the Operation seems to have been in plans much earlier: the General has alleged that the army had been rehearsing the operation in a replica of Harmandir Sahib at a secret location near Chakrata Cantonment in the Doon Valley.
The timing of Operation Blue Star coincided with a Sikh religious day, the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the founder of the Harmandir Sahib. Sikhs from all over the world visit the temple on this day. Many Sikhs view the timing and attack by the Indian Army as an attempt to inflict maximum casualties on Sikhs and demoralise them, and the government is in turn blamed for the inflated number of civilian dead for choosing to attack on this day. The justification given by the Centre was the announcement made by Longowal that a State-wide civil disobedience movement would be launched on 3 June 1984, by refusing to pay land revenue, water and electricity bills, and blocking the flow of grain out of Punjab.
The Sikh community's anger and suffering was further increased by comments from leading newspaper editors, such as Ramnath Goenka, terming the operation as "A greater victory than the win over Bangladesh, this is the greatest victory of Mrs. Gandhi".
Before the attack by army a media blackout was imposed in Punjab. The Times reporter Michael Hamlyn reported that journalists were picked up from their hotels at 5 am in a military bus, taken to the adjoining border of the state of Haryana and "were abandoned there". The main towns in Punjab were put under curfew, transportation was banned, news blackout was imposed and Punjab was "cut off from the outside world". A group of journalists who later tried to drive into Punjab were stopped at the road block at Punjab border and were threatened to be shot if they proceeded. The Indian nationals who worked with the foreign media were also banned. The press criticized these actions by Government as an "obvious attempt to attack the temple without the eyes of foreign press on them". Associated Press reporter Brahma Chellaney managed to report on the operation.
Brahma Chellaney, who was then the South Asia correspondent of the Associated Press, was the only foreign reporter who managed to stay on in Amritsar despite the media blackout. His dispatches, filed by telex, provided the first non-governmental news reports on the bloody operation in Amritsar. His first dispatch, front-paged by the New York Times, The Times of London and The Guardian, reported a death toll about twice of what authorities had admitted. According to the dispatch, about 780 militants and civilians and 400 troops had perished in fierce gunbattles. The high casualty rates among security forces were attributed to "the presence of such sophisticated weapons as medium machine guns and rockets" in the militants arsenal. Mr. Chellaney also reported that “several” suspected Sikh militants had been shot with their hands tied. The dispatch, after its first paragraph reference to “several” such deaths, specified later that “eight to 10” men had been shot in that fashion. In that dispatch, Mr. Chellaney interviewed a doctor who said he was picked up by the army and forced to conduct postmortems despite the fact he had never done any postmortem examination before. The number of casualties reported by Mr. Chellaney were far more than government reports, and the Indian government, which disputed his casualty figures accused him of inflammatory reporting. The Associated Press stood by the reports and figures, the accuracy of which was also "supported by Indian and other press accounts" according to Associated Press; and reports in The Times and The New York Times.
Similar accusations of high handedness by the Indian Army and allegations of human rights violations by security forces in Operation Blue Star and subsequent military operations in Punjab have been levelled by Justice V. M. Tarkunde, Mary Anne Weaver, human rights lawyer Ram Narayan Kumar, and anthropologists Cynthia Mahmood and Joyce Pettigrew.
The Indian Army responded to this criticism by stating that they "answered the call of duty as disciplined, loyal and dedicated members of the Armed Forces of India...our loyalties are to the nation, the armed forces to which we belong, the uniforms we wear and to the troops we command":156
It was later pointed out that as the blockade approach taken by Rajiv Gandhi five years later in Operation Black Thunder, when Sikh militants had again taken over the temple complex, was highly successful as they managed to resolve the stand-off peacefully and in hindsight, Operation Blue Star could have been averted by using similar blockade tactics. The army responded by stating that "no comparison is possible between the two situations", as "there was no cult figure like Bhindranwale to idolise, and professional military general like Shahbeg Singh to provide for military leadership" and "confidence of militants having been shattered by Operation Blue Star". Furthermore, it is pointed out that the separatists in the temple were armed with machine guns, anti tank missiles and rocket launchers, and that they strongly resisted the army's attempts to dislodge them from the shrine, appearing to have planned for a long stand-off, having arranged for water to be supplied from wells within the temple compound and had stocked food provisions that could have lasted months.:153–154
The Hindustan Times correspondent Chand Joshi alleged that the army units "acted in total anger" and shot down all the suspects rounded up from the temple complex. Mark Tully and Satish Jacob, in Amritsar; Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle, criticized the Army for burning down the Sikh Reference Library, stating that it did this to destroy the culture of the Sikhs. In The Sikhs of Punjab, Joyce Pettigrew alleges that the army conducted the operation to "suppress the culture, and political will, of a people".
Honours to the soldiers
The soldiers and generals involved in the Operation were presented with gallantry awards, honours, decoration strips and promotions by the Sikh president Zail Singh in a ceremony conducted on 10 July 1985. The act was criticized by authors and activists such as Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, who accused the troops of human rights violations during the Operation.
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- "The confusion in the Governor's house in Chandigarh was made worse by Mrs. Gandhi maintaining contact with Bhindranwale. Her go-between was the President of Punjab Congress, Raghunandan Lal Bhatia... This link, which was well known to officials, enhanced Bhindranwale's status and made the Indian administration even more reluctant to grapple with him."Tully, Mark; Satish Jacob (1985). Amritsar; Mrs. Gandhi's last Battle. New Delhi: Rupa & Co.. p. 121. ISBN 81-291-0917-4.
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- "Indian policemen raid Sikh temple", Steven R. Weishan, New York Times, 1 May 1986.
- New York Times, 2 May 1986.
- "India Uproots Thousands Living Near Sikh Temple", Barbara Crossette, New York Times, 3 June 1990.
- Anniversary Issue, India Today, 26 December 2005, p 136.
- Man Mohan Sharma (1998). What ails the Indian army: a report to the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. Trishul Publications. p. 273. ISBN 978-81-85384-25-2. http://books.google.com/books?id=tnffAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Interview of Lt .Gen Sinha on Operation Blue Star
- Shreenivas Kumar Sinha (1 September 1992). A soldier recalls. Lancer Publishers. p. 392. ISBN 978-81-7062-161-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=vHglFDHJi78C&pg=PA392. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- Weaver, Mary Anne (1984). "Sikhs vanish in Indian crackdown". .
- Mark Tully, Satish Jacob (1985). Amritsar; Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle. London. pp. 58–9.
- Dhillon, Gurdashan Singh. Truth About Punjab (SGPC White Paper). Amristar: Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.
- Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume II: 1839-2004, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 341.
- Brar, K.S. (1992). Operation Blue Star: True Story. UBS Publishers Distributors (P), Limited. p. 31. ISBN 81-7476-068-7.
- Singh, Patwant (1994). "Alienation Is The Key". Sikhreview.org
- Hamlyn, Michael (6 June 1984). "Journalists removed from Amritsar: Army prepares to enter Sikh shrine". The Times. p. 36.
- "Gun battle rages in Sikh holy shrine". The Times. 5 June 1984. p. 1.
- Hamlyn, Michael (6 June 1984). "Journalists removed from Amritsar: Army prepares to enter Sikh shrine". The Times. p. 36. "Its is also apparent that the Indian authorities wish to invade the temple without the eyes of the foreign press upon them. No foreign correspondent is being allowed into Punjab now."
- Hamlyn, Michael (12 June 1984). "Amritsar witness puts death toll at 1000". The Times. p. 7.
- Eric Silver (7 June 1984). "Golden Temple Sikhs Surrender". The Guardian.
- Chellaney, Brahma (14 June 1984). "Sikhs in Amritsar 'tied up and shot'". The Times. p. 1.
- Chellaney, Brahma (14 June 1984). "Sikh rebels were shot 'at point-blank range'". The Times. p. 3.
- "Toll in assault on Sikh Temple termed vastly underestimated". The Miami Herald. 11 June 1984.
- "Indian Police Question Reporter on Amritsar". The New York Times. 24 November 1984. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401E6DA1638F937A15752C1A962948260. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- "India is set to drop prosecution of AP reporter in Punjab Case". The New York Times. 14 September 1985. p. 5. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0F11FC3D5D0C778DDDA00894DD484D81. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- Stevens (30 October 1984). "India is said to drop prosecution of A. P. reporter in Punjab case =". The New York Times. p. 5. "Mr. Chellaney reported a death toll of 1,200 at a time when the Indian Government said the figure was 576. He also reported that 8 to 10 Sikhs had been tied up and shot by soldiers. The Government called his dispatches false and inflammatory. The A. P. defended the accuracy of his reports, which were supported by Indian and other press accounts."
- Judge V M Tarkunde, et al., Oppression in Punjab: Report to the Nation, New Delhi: Citizens for Democracy, 1985, pp. 8–10, 18–19
- Mary Anne Weaver, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 October 1984)
- Ram Narayan Kumar, et al., Reduced to Ashes (Volume One), Asia Forum for Human Rights, Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2003, pp. 75)
- I.S. Jaijee, Politics of Genocide: 1984–1998, Ajanta Publishers, New Delhi, India
- Cynthia Mahmood, Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants. University of Pennsylvania Press
- Pettigrew, Joyce (1995). The Sikhs of the Punjab: unheard voices of State and Guerilla violence. Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-85649-355-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=7VBuAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Brar, K.S. (1992). Operation Blue Star: True Story. UBS Publishers Distributors (P), Limited. ISBN 81-7476-068-7.
- Chand Joshi, Bhindrawale: Myth and Reality, page 160
- Joyce Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: unheard voices of State and Guerilla violence
- Harjinder Singh Dilgeer: Sikh History in 10 Volumes, vol. 7, pp 196–97
- Harjinder Singh Dilgeer (2012). Sikh History in 10 volumes. Sikh University Press. ISBN 2-930247-47-9. : presents comprehensive details of the invasion of Indian Army (causes and events). Vols 7 to 10 also give precious information.
- K. S. Brar (1993). Operation Blue Star: the true story. UBS Publishers' Distributors. ISBN 978-81-85944-29-6. : presents the version of the Sikh general Kuldip Singh Brar, who led the operation
- Kirapal Singh and Anurag Singh, ed (1999). Giani Kirpal Singh's eye-witness account of Operation Blue Star. B. Chattar Singh Jiwan Singh. ISBN 978-81-7601-318-5. : presents the version of the Giani Kirpal Singh, the Jathedar of the Akal Takht
- Johncy Itty (1985). Operation Bluestar: the political ramifications.
- Man Singh Deora (1992). Aftermath of Operation Bluestar. Anmol Publications. ISBN 978-81-7041-645-6.
- Kuldip Nayar; Khushwant Singh (1984). Tragedy of Punjab: Operation Bluestar & after. Vision Books.
- Satyapal Dang; Ravi M. Bakaya (1 January 2000). Terrorism in Punjab. Gyan Books. ISBN 978-81-212-0659-4.
- Operation Blue Star Gallery
- Operation Blue Star Photos
- Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
- SikhMuseum.com Operation Blue Star Exhibit
- Neverforget84.com "Operation Bluestar" page
- "1984 Sikhs' Kristallnacht" – 5-part Youtube video.
- Ensaaf.org "1984 Sikhs' Kristallnacht" PDF – 28 pages
- Sikh.com – Operation Blue Star page
- BBC "Operation Blue Star" page
- Rediff.com "Operation Bluestar 20 years on"
- BBC Reports and timeline
- BBC Flashback
- "Sikh Times" article on press coverage of Operation Blue Star
- Sikhfauj.com "Operation Bluestar and Indira" – link appears dead – 2009 May
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