31st October 1984 was the most tragic day from both the points of view. One, the most dastardly assasination of the most loved and respected leader of the country of international eminence late Indira Gandhi who ruled India with guts, determination and wisdom for more than one and a half decade and created history of sorts by dividing Pakistan, creating Bangladesh and the second one was the horrendous riots committed thereafter for three, four days killing over four thousand Sikhs in Delhi and thousands in other parts of India in spontaneous retaliation as well as the managed operation, never ever witnessed in the aftermath of the assasination of any leader post independence.
Late Mrs Indira Gandhi was killed by her own two sikh body guards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh in the prime minister’s residence 3 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi sending shock waves like wild fire in Delhi and rest of India. They were later on hanged to death gallows after a long trial. Delhi was literally on fire all around with houses of Sikhs in posh as well as the resettlement colonies of Delhi burning with highly surcharged mobs killing sikhs where ever they were spotted.
The areas of Punjabi Bagh, Rajauri Garden, Safdarjung Enclave, Lajpat Nagar, Jangpura, Jahagir puri, Trilokpuri, Khichripur, Najafgarh, Palam, Suktanpuri, Mangolpuri, Kingway camp, etc were the worst victims of anti Sikh riots with Sikhs and even those wearing turbans n having beard hailing from lowest ebb of the society like petty carpenters and cot weavers were killed in abudance and women shockingly raped as well.
Several members of the sikh community were tortured to death by these hooligans and professional anti social elements in broad day light by throwing them on fire and throwing burnt tyred around their necks. It took four days for these messacres to end. Hundreds of thousands of women became widow, children orphaned and several families having been wiped out. Several parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir too witnessed such dastardly anti sikh riots.
The mobs looted shops, showrooms and factories owned the Sikh proprietors. Delhi looked like a towering inferno with black smoke and fire blaze being witnessed all over Delhi with sky becoming literally dark with excessive black fumes and smog. After the tragic death of Indira Gandhi, the then prime minister, the anti sikh riots’ and its provocation was so widespread and terrorising that there was literally no rule of law in Delhi and elsewhere with rioters , looters and professional hooligans in mobs having their fullest say, for three to four days in a sequence and police not to be found at the rescue of the victims.
After the silence and lull, several commission of enquiries were instituted and several of the indicted and convicted politicians have either died or have gone into political oblivion but the victims and the sufferers of these most despicable and horrendous riots have still not been delivered justice even after more than 32 years as claimed by several Sikh organisations fighting a protracted battle in various courts of the country, since then.