On June 4th 1984 at Amritvela The Indian army began its full scale attack on Daarbaar Saahib. Guru Keeian Faujaan kept the army at bay for the next 42 hours or so. No enemy solider entered on foot in to the parkarma. It was not until late into 5th June that the army had to enter with tanks as this was the only way they could come in. Below is the first part of a translated eye witness account of the Saakaa.
June 1984: One Jujharoo Singh's Account
Taken from Sikh Shahadat June 2003
This is based on an interview with Bhai Sukhvant Singh Jalalabad, a prisoner in Nabha Jail. He fought in the June 1984 attack on Darbar Sahib. Bhai Sukhvant Singh began staying with Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in 1982 along with 11 other young men from his village. Later, six of those Singhs would become shaheeds during Bluestar and the rest were arrested and sent to Jodhpur Jail. Bhai Sukhvant Singh was released in 1989 and joined the Sikh Resistance Movement. He was arrested and sent back to jail in 1997 where he has remained since, except for a brief four-month release in 2000. This is his account of the attack and how he and other Singhs fought back:
June 4th, 1984
On June 4th, at amrit vela, as the sweet sound of keertan was coming from Darbar Sahib, unexpectedly at 4.15am, a loud explosion was heard. It felt as though this explosion had taken place right near us. This was a signal for the bombing to begin. This all was part of a very carefully hatched plan by the Indian Government to attack the Sikh's most important centre. All of a sudden a hail of bullets began to fly. All us Singhs became alert right away. We were about 20 Singhs in the Sindhi Hotel, which was near the Langar building.
By daybreak, all the placements that had been made at high places had been completely obliterated. It's important to say here that whatever placements had been made before June 3rd, and the government had noticed, were completely destroyed. Only those positions remained intact that had been made after June 3rd and which the government was unaware about.
Gen. Shabegh Singh spent the entire night of June 3rd making new positions and those were the ones that caused the most damage to the army.
We came to a lower level of the Hotel and made new positions in the rooms and with our weapons we took them up. The bullets were flying at us so quickly that we couldn't fire back.
We got in contact with the Langar Building and this was where Bhai Amrik Singh and Baba Thara Singh were commanding operations. They sent us a message at the Sindhi Hotel to leave there and to come to the Langar where all the Singhs would be gathering to fight together. This was because the Sindhi Hotel could have been surrounded at any time.
The Langar Building
At about 11am, we left the Sindhi Hotel and went to the Langar. There all the Singhs gathered and had a meeting where different positions were assigned. I and some other Singhs were given our duty at the Burj, but when we got there, there was a storm of bullets being fired at it. The Burj was swaying and it seemed that it could fall at any moment. Inside it, the dust made it impossible to breathe. Our position here could not be successful so we came back to the Langar Building. So many bullets were being fired that no one could leave their morcha. But we would only shoot when we had a soldier in our sights. All of us were in contact with each other and we would go to each others morchas. If someone needed ammunition we could get it.
All night the fighting continued but the army did not have the courage to advance on foot. At around midnight, four helicopters began to hover around Darbar Sahib. They tried to drop Commandos but the Singhs with their fire did not let them. A helicopter hovered over the Langar Building for quite some time as well and Bhai Amrik Singh grabbed an LMG and fired at it. This one too couldn't drop any Commandos.
The next day at around 5, the Langar building came under organized fire. Our placements on the top level were completely destroyed. Many Singhs were shahid and others were injured. There was no one to tend to the wounds but Guru Sahib was doing so much kirpa that the injured were still encouraging the rest of us to fight hard. The dead bodies of the Shaheed Singhs were lying in the placements but our hearts had become like stone and it didn't matter anymore. In our hearts we all wanted to fight till our final breath.
On the evening of June 5th, Bhai Amrik Singh and the others made a plan to go to Akal Takhat Sahib. We also got ready to go with Bhai Sahib because we had planned to bring ammunition from there.
Getting Ammo at Akal Takhat Sahib
Bhai Sahib and the rest of us went through the Parkarma, through a hail of bullets and reached Akal Takhat Sahib. We met Sant Mahapursh (Baba Jarnail Singh) there and he gave us a Fateh. Sant jee asked Bhai Amrik Singh about the Langar side and what was going on and he asked us if we were in Chardi Kalaa. We replied that we were all in Chardi Kalaa. Sant jee had a yellow keskee on his head and a Thompson Gun in his hands. He was in total Chardi Kalaa. We explained that we had come for ammunition and Sant jee told Bhai Rachhpal Singh to get us what we needed. Bhai Rachhpal Singh took us to the basement and we took as much ammunition as we could carry. We then returned to the Langar Building. After this, we lost all contact with Akal Takhat Sahib.
Baba Thara Singh, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Bhai Amrik Singh
We distributed the ammo and in total we were 60-70 Singhs at the Langar. There were bullets flying in every direction. We took up positions on the bottom most floor. As night fell, the Army sent 400 trained Commandos from the Ghanta Ghar gate, Baba Deep Singh gate and the Langar side. From the Langar side, we did not let even one Commando get into the Complex. On the other sides as well, not even one Commando survived. The army saw that they couldn't advance by foot so around 11pm, tanks and armoured vehicles began to come from the Seraa(n) side. They fired a hail of bullets at the Langar as they advanced.
Us Singhs in the Langar, Baba Thara Singh, Bhai Surinder Singh, Bhai Major Singh (Nagoke), Bhai Balvinder Singh, Bhai Svaran Singh, Bhai Dalbir Singh, etc., had a meeting at the back side of the Langar Building. We decided to leave here and go to the Akal Takhat Sahib. Bhai Svaran Singh did an ardaas here that Guru Sahib jio! Give use the strength to combat this enemy.
At 1am, we went into the parkarma via the Brahm Buta Akhara. Bullets were flying ahead of us. Bhai Svaran Singh and Bhai Dalbir Singh went into an adjoining room where there were many other Singhs from the Kar Seva Jatha. It's important to say here that about 35 Kar Seva-vale Singhs had done an ardaas that if Darbar Sahib is attacked, we will become shahids. Only four of these Singhs survived and they spent time with us in Jodhpur Jail. The rest all fought bravely and became Shahidi. The Jathedar, Baba Pehlvaan, whose name I have now forgotten, fought most bravely of all.
Bhai Major Singh Nagokae
Bhai Major Singh Nagokae separated from us and went into the underground room near the Langar that had a well in it. Fiver other Singhs also descended into this room. Bhai Major Singh had known about this place before and we too had gone there a couple times. They had stored food rations here. When we were taken to the prisoner camp, we found out that when on June 9th, Giani Zail Sinh came to Darbar Sahib, the Singhs fired on him from this room. One of Giani Zail's bodyguards was killed but he himself survived. Major Singh and the others fought to the end. The army ended up martyring them with poison gas. Major Singh also had a major role in the killing of Nirankari Gurbachana that the Sangat does not know about.
When we began to move towards Akal Takhat Sahib, we only had about 20 Singhs left. The rest were all shahid. Instead of going directly towards Akal Takhat Sahib, we moved towards Dukh Bhanjani Beri because the firing was less in this area. Near here there is also an enclosure where women can do ishnaan. We put our shastar there. There was no position made here so we couldn't continue to fight. We drank the water from the sarovar and quenched our thirst. We only had a few bullets left, the rest of the ammunition was exhausted. Just our weapons remained.
At amrit vela we began to discuss how we could move towards Akal Takhat Sahib. Baba Thara Singh was saying that if we reached there, we would have no problem getting more amo. All night the tanks had been entering the parkarma and in the DeoRee in front of the Langar, a tank was constantly firing shells. Inside the enclosure, we had taken up positions that if the army tried to enter, we would kill as many of them as possible before dying.
Bhai Surinder Singh and Bhai Balvinder Singh along with 5 Singhs decided that they would swim through the sarovar to Darbar Sahib. After going to Darbar Sahib, they would run on the causeway to Akal Takhat Sahib. When the Singhs began to swim, we watched and in front of us, all were martyred and not even one made it across.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2010 07:31AM by admin.