Saturday 6 June 2009

JUNE 5 1984


June 5, 1984

On this day, June 5th, 25 years ago……At 7:00 p.m. Operation Blue Star, the invasion of The Golden Temple begins with tanks of the 16th Cavalry Regiment of the Indian Army moving to enclose the Golden Temple complex. Artillery is used to blast off the tops of the Ramgarhia Bungas and the water tank. Scores of buildings in and around the temple complex are blazing. One artillery shell lands more than 5 km away in the crowded city.
In the narrow alley behind the Akaal Takhat paramilitary commandos try to get into the temple. Some make it to the roof but are turned back due to the heavy gunfire. Meanwhile tanks move into the square in front of the northern entrance to the Golden Temple known as the clock tower entrance.
At 10:30 pm commandos from the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, try to run down the steps under the clock tower onto the marble parkarma around the sacred pool. They face heavy gunfire, suffering casualties and are forced to retreat. A second wave of commandos manage to neutralize the machine gun posts on either side of the steps and get down to the parkarma.
The Akaal Takhat is heavily fortified with sandbags and brick gun emplacements in its windows and arches. From here and the surrounding buildings the Sikhs are able to defend the Akaal Takhat and fire at any commandos who make their way in front of the Gurdwara.
Two companies of the 7th Garhwal Rifles enter the temple complex from the opposite side on the southern gate entrance and after a gun battle are able to establish a position on the roof of the Temple library. They are reinforced by two companies of the 15th Kumaons. Repeated unsuccessful attempts are made to storm the Akaal Takhat as another night falls.

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