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‘There was no other way except to physically enter the Golden Temple’: Operation Bluestar hero recounts final nail in the coffin of Bhindranwale

On being asked whether he had any sense of regret, Lt General Brat remained unabashed about his commitment to the nation without giving a damn about political correctness.

On Monday (January 30), the commander of the infamous ‘Operation Bluestar’ of 1984, Lt. General Kuldip Singh Brar, recounted how Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale had to be eliminated for waging war against the Indian State.

While speaking to ANI Editor-in-Chief Smita Prakash, he narrated how there was a complete breakdown of law and order in the State of Punjab, in the months preceding the military operation at the Golden Temple.

“Feeling of Khalistan was slowly building up. Bhindranwale was fully in control of the State,” Lt. General Brar emphasised. On being asked about the resurgence of the separatist ideology, he lamented how the Khalistani movement, which he helped weed out in the 1980s, had resurfaced on a global scale.

“I feel horrible. I go to South Hall in the United Kingdom. I see Bhindrawale’s pictures everywhere…It is our diaspora who have gone abroad who are more pro-Khalistan and all that than those who are in India. Pakistan is also assisting them, besides the United Kingdom, United States and Canada,” General Brar emphasised.

While recounting Operation Blue Star, he said that the Indian Army was left with no option but to eliminate the Khalistani terrorist who took devottes as hostages at the Golden Temple.

“It was decided that there was no other way except to physically enter the Golden Temple…Machine guns were firing at us from places which we never imagined and couldn’t see. It was like a boxer going into the boxing ring with one hand tied behind his back and allowed to fight with only one hand,” he narrated.

“Because you do not have all the resources with you. In those 8-10 hours, we must have lost 300-400 soldiers. It was not easy. I know what nightmares I have been having after that event,” the commander of Operation Blue added.

He pointed out how General Krishnaswamy “Sundarji” Sundararajan had instructed the army to execute the operation with minimal damage. “We didn’t want to bring in heavy weapons because of the restrictions imposed by the government – minimum force, no damage to buildings, temples etc,” he said.

“No, we did not fire on the Akal takht. The orders were not to fire on the Akal Takht. But the fact is what do you do? You just allow your men to keep dying. You are to take some action,” General Brar reiterated.

On being asked whether he had any sense of regret, he remained unabashed about his commitment to the nation without giving a damn about political correctness.

“What shouldn’t have happened? No one wants an operation but what do you do? Indira Gandhi allowed him (Bhindranwale) to become Frankenstein. You could see what was happening with each passing year. But when he reached the pinnacle, now finish/ destroy him. Now, it’s too late…” he highlighted.

“The Congress and the Akalis had their own political problems. (They allowed this cult of Bhindrawnwle) to continue,” he added. On being asked whether the operation could have been executed better in hindsight, Lt. General Kuldeep Singh Brar clarified, “I do not know. How am I to say that? Someone else can say that. I feel whatever we did, it was executed in the best manner that we could.”

Operation Blue Star assassination of ex-army Chief General AS Vaidya

Between the 1st and 10th of June 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had launched an operation to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple. Operation Blue Star was the code name for the Indian military action carried out to remove Khalistan terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the Harminder Sahib complex in Amritsar.

Operation Blue Star, however, had far-reaching ramifications well after it was over. While the military had neutralised Bhindranwale, the Army Chief, who had coordinated the operation, was brutally assassinated by Khalistani terrorists only 2 years later.

On August 10, 1986, former army chief General A.S. Vaidya was assassinated in Pune by Sikh militants in Khalistan Commando Force. The assassins, Jinda and Sukha were sentenced to death in 1989 and executed on October 9, 1992. General Vaidya played a vital role in Operation Blue Star which eventually led to the end of the Khalistan movement in Punjab. He was army chief during the operation.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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