Golden Temple, Operation Blue Star

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Operation Blue Star (Punjabi: ਬਲੂ ਸਟਾਰ, Hindi: ब्ल्यू स्टार (blyū sṭār)) 3–8 June 1984 was an Indian military operation, ordered by Indira Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India,[5] to eliminate Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, was accused of amassing weapons in the Sikh temple and starting a major armed uprising.[6] These reasons are contested by most Sikh scholars who claim that Akal Takhat is a temporal seat and keeping weapons in Gurdwaras is well within the precincts of Sikhism. Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer says that Indira Gandhi attacked Darbar Sahib to present herself as a great hero in order to win forthcoming elections.[7]
The operation had two components: Operation Metal, confined to Golden Temple complex, and Operation Shop, which raided the countryside all over the Punjab to capture any suspects.[8] Following it, a complementary operation was launched code-named: Operation Woodrose for thoroughly scanning the Punjab countryside to round up any suspects.
The operation was carried out by Indian army troops with tanks, artillery, helicopters and armoured vehicles.[9] Actual casualty figures given by Kuldip Singh Brar put the number of deaths among the Indian army at 83 and injuries at 220.[10] According to the official estimate, 492 civilians were killed.[11][12] 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 a few returned awards and honours they had received from the Indian government.[13] Four months after the operation, on 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards in what is viewed as an act of vengeance. Following her assassination, more than 3,000 Sikhs were killed in anti-Sikh riots.[14] 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.[15]