Indian Deep State Attempts Against Sikh Community
Indian deep state seems to be scared of increasing activities of Sikhs community. To neutralize the growing activities of the community, an orchestrated campaign is under way to term these activities as Pakistan sponsored. Recently, Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Capt (R) Amarinder Singh has alleged that Pakistan dropped weapons inside Indian Punjab through drones for Sikh terror groups, operating in Indian Punjab. Earlier, Indian media in coalition with the Indian deep state had been raising doubts and questions over “Kartarpur Corridor” also by creating hurdles on “Karatarpur Corridor” in the similar vein.
In another attempt, New Delhi exploited the issue and statement of an ex-Sikh leader namely Baldev Kumar to the optimum to malign Islamabad. Baldev Kumar was acquitted in the murder case of local Sikh leader namely Soran Singh, but the family of the victim still accuses him as murderer. Baldev Kumar was enticed by Indian intelligence agencies to give statement against Pakistan. Tilak Kumar (brother of Baldev Kumar) during a press conference in Swat also refuted allegations, leveled by his brother and felt that Baldev Kumar was coerced by Indian authorities to issue statements, implicating Pakistan.
In fact, the allegations seem part of a grand plan of Indian deep state which has also tried to divert attention from India’s’ moves and reaction of the world leaders and media from the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), as now, New Delhi is expanding the sinister scheme to Punjab to neutralize Sikh resistance and worldwide Sikh activities exposing/negating India.
In this regard, Indian extremist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government ended special status of the Jummu and Kashmir on August 5, this year, while scrapping articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution in a malevolent attempt to turn Muslim majority into minority in the Indian Held Kashmir. Indian forces have continued lockdown and curfew in the IOK and also martyred more than 100 individuals and injured more than 500 persons through pallet-guns and various kinds of torture. More than 15000 people have been arrested and many are missing. Despite the deployment of 900,000 troops and intensification of firing by the Indian forces in wake of shortage of foods and even medicines for the patients, innocent Kashmiris are still violating the curfew by protesting against Indian illegal actions. And Indian fanatic rulers are also escalating tensions with Pakistan so as to divert attention from the drastic situation of the IOK, and have continued shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir. In order to conceal India’s state terrorism, New Delhi has not allowed journalists to enter the Indian Held Kashmir which has been cut off from the world, as private mobile networks, internet services and telephone landlines cut.
In the aftermath of the August 5 developments, Sikhs have also shown solidarity with the Kashmiri people by participation in the processions and protest rallies, conducted in Pakistan and other Western countries.
It is notable that an intellectual group of Sikh resistance against India namely “Sikh For Justice’s (SFJ)” is organising Referendum 2020 campaign to inform the world about highhandedness of Hindus against Sikh community. India has also declared SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun as Pakistani-backed terrorist. To down play the Sikh activism, Indian officials and media continually harps smear campaigns against “Referendum 2020 campaign” by projecting it as a “pro-Pakistan” movement, but in reality, it is an indigenous pro-Sikh movement.
BJP legislatures have also passed a draconian law in shape of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to gag any dissenting voice, especially that of the Sikhs. As per report of the “Economic Times”, Indian media outlet quoted an unnamed senior Home Ministry official as saying that “those states which have a sizeable Sikh population and where the organisations like SFJ can play foul and try to brainwash Sikh community in favor of the Khalistan movement will be given focus through UAPA”. This new found approach unquestionably contradicts India’s claims of being the self-professed world’s largest democracy and proves that it’s becoming more of a prison of nations. Despite decades of continued protests, Sikhs are still labeled Hindus under article 25(2) (b) in the Indian constitution. To further demoralize them and remind them of their subjugation, the Sikhs in the Indian state are forced to get married under the Hindu marriage act.
It is mentionable that ‘Operation Blue Star’ was an Indian military operation which occurred between 3–8 June 1984, ordered by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to control over the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) complex, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs in Amritsar, Punjab, and to arrest Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the complex buildings. Bhindranwale had earlier taken residence in Harmandir Sahib and made it his headquarters in April 1980. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the only leader who had boldly been fighting for the genuine rights of the Sikhs.
Indian Army led by General Kuldip Singh Brar, supported by troops and armoured vehicles broke all records of the state terrorism and extra-judicial killings through that barbaric operation.
At that time, there were only 251 Sikhs inside the complex to protect the Harmandir Sahib, and to resist the well-trained Indian army. In those days, majority of the Sikhs were coming to the temple-complex to celebrate Martyr Day of Guru Arjan Dev Ji.
On June 6, when all Sikh fighters were martyred along with Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Indian troops entered the temple-complex with their shoes by deliberately ignoring the holiness of the place, showing utter indecency. When the Indian Army felt that only 251 men had prevented them from entering the Harmandir Sahib for so many days, they started killing innocent Sikhs who had come there to visit the temple.
In this connection, in their book, “The Sikh Struggle”, Ramnarain Kumar and George Sieberer writes, “The army killed every Sikh who could be found inside the temple-complex. They were hauled out of rooms, brought to corridors on the circumference of the temple and with their hands tied behind their back, were shot in cold blood. Among the victims were many old men, women and children.” However, all visitors were locked up in rooms for two days without any food, water, or electricity and were starved to death. Besides, the Harmandir Sahib remained under the army control for many months.”
The brutality of the ‘Operation Blue Star’ was not confined to the Harmandir Sahib. Indian armed forces simultaneously attacked 40 other historical gurdwaras all over East Punjab.
When Sikhs in other states came to know about the desecration of the Harmandir Sahib and massacre of their brethren, they quickly left for Punjab. New Delhi tried to stop them before they could reach Punjab. Many Sikhs were assassinated on the way and many others were arrested.
According to an estimate, about 50,000 Sikhs were killed within a few days. The whole Amritsar city was sealed and was burnt. A number of tourists either were murdered or arrested. Shops belonging to Sikhs were looted and their houses were set ablaze by Hindu mobs. In most of the cases, Sikh women were molested and some persons of their community were also burnt.
In the same year of November, two dedicated Sikhs named Beant Singh and Satwant Singh who were posted at Premier Indira Gandhi’s residence in New Delhi, assassinated her. Then Hindu riots erupted in the capital and other cities in which more than 15,000 Sikhs were murdered in broad daylight by the supporters of Indira Gandhi, while police watched silently so as to provide the Hindus with free hand to massacre Sikhs.
Nevertheless, the attack on the Harmandir Sahib and genocide of Sikhs accelerated the liberation movement for Khalistan as Bhindrenwale became a folk hero.
Meanwhile, after ‘Operation Blue Star’ and the Sikh genocide, Sikhs’ struggle for independence continued, but the Indian government made every effort to crush the same with the state machinery. To maintain its control over the Harmandir Sahib, another attack was launched on the Temple in 1987, called ‘Operation Black Thunder’.
According to a report, many trucks were loaded with dead bodies and all were burned with kerosene oil. Afterwards, ‘Operation Woodrose’ and ‘Operation Black Thunder-II’ were conducted against the Sikh community, which also assassinated many of them extra-judicially.
After these barbaric operations, Sikhs organised themselves into an armed power in order to fight the Indian state terrorism. Many Sikhs left India to escape religious persecution. Sikhs have spread out all over the world to keep the movement of Khalistan alive. In this regard, their struggle is still going on.
In this context, Dr. Sangat Singh writes in his book, “The Sikhs in History”, remarks, “The Indian government has killed over 1 million to 1.2 million Sikhs since 1947. The only way to stop this state terrorism is to create a Khalistan state, where Sikhs and other religious people can enjoy their freedom.”
Notably, many Sikh victim families are still demanding and waiting for justice and relief as Indian Supreme court/commissions are still resorting to cosmetic hearings/proceedings of the cases filed by Sikh people in the same regard.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations