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India: The Sikhs

In the 1980s Sikh separatists attacked and massacred Hindu minorities, including civilians. By June 1984 the government brought in troops to remove the militants at the Golden Temple, a Sikh shrine, in Amritsar. The shrine was damaged and hundreds were killed. In October 1984 Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India at the time, was murdered by her Sikh bodyguards. After her assassination Congress Party leaders attacked the Sikhs and killed at least 2,733 within a few days. They also destroyed and looted their property and raped women.


Dilbagh Singh is a survivor of the anti-Sikh riots from 1984. His mother let the mobs loot their home but afterwards still killed his 16 year old brother. Other survivors like him were resettled in Tilak Vihar after the genocide was over; they all still remember the trauma very well. One man's father went to Teen Murti Bhawan to see Indira Gandi's body after she was killed and he was beaten up then shot. Another man recalls his father being slashed with swords then set on fire. In Tilak Vihar there was a drug addict in every home; people did drugs as a way to cope with their frustration. In 1984 most of the drugs addicts were only 10-16 years old and many died from addiction. Most of the people in the area didn't receive a proper education because they had to work to survive. The effects of the genocide still affect them today.

YouTube - The Quint

Saptal Singh is a survivor from the anti-Sikh riots. He was beaten unconscious in a train and the mob that attacked him thought he was dead so they threw his body on railway tracks. Army officers told him that they would protect him, but they didn't do anything. Singh is one of the many that are still fighting for justice. Several others reported to official commissions that the police didn't do anything to stop the killings and even participated in them.

Al Jazeera

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