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Operation Black Thunder

Operation Black Thunder
An Eyewitness Account of Terrorism in Punjab

First Edition

SAGE Classics

October 2014 | 364 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Terrorism has affected several of India’s states, at different times and in different forms, and continues to be a matter of national, and increasingly international, concern. One of the states most affected by terrorism was Punjab, which was torn apart by acts of violence during the 1980s, while its people were caught in the crossfire between the threats of the terrorists and the Indian government’s attempts to combat them.

The Golden Temple in Amritsar was the scene of two pivotal anti-terrorist operations during this decade- Operation Blue Star in 1984 followed by Operation Black Thunder in 1988, when the Indian government dislodged terrorists who had occupied this holiest of Sikh places of worship. The consequences of Operation Blue Star included the assassination of Indira Gandhi-the Prime Minister who sanctioned the operation. The success of Operation Black Thunder, on the other hand, was a turning point in the battle against terrorism.

Centred around a gripping account of Operation Black Thunder, by one who initiated it and was intimately involved in executing it, this absorbing book analyses the factors responsible for the rise and growth of terrorism in Punjab, including the role of Pakistan in promoting terrorism in India. Pulling no punches, the author also criticizes the role of politicians and the Congress government in Delhi, particularly its use of central intelligence agencies in order to undermine the growth of a regional party like the Aklali Dal by promoting the rise of leaders such as Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

Sarab Jit Singh covers the history of Punjab during the 1980s from before the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, through the tenure of successive Governors and their measures to curb terrorism, till elections were held in the early 1990s and peace was finally restored to Punjab. In the process he brings to light many crucial and significant events which have remained shrouded in mystery.

Combining an impartial and authentic eyewitness account of a tumultuous period in contemporary political history with a critical analyses of the causes of the growth of terrorism in Punjab and the methods used to combat it, this book will be of interest to students of politics, public administration, contemporary Indian history and the general reader.

The Golden Temple: In the Eye of the Storm
The Sikh Heritage and the Punjab Problem
The Rajiv-Longowal Accord: The 'Secret' Healing Touch
S S Barnala's Government: The Healing Touch Impaired
Governor Ray's Tenure
The Politics of the Clergy
January—March 1988: The Killings Increase
April—May 1988: Measures to End the Killing
Operation Black Thunder
The Militants Surrender
Trial at Midnight
Restoring the Maryada
Demoralisation Versus a Gun Battle
The SGPC's Dilemma
Jasbir Singh Rode's Dismissal
The Corridor Plan
Jasbir Singh Rode Resurrected
Panchayat Elections Postponed: Missed Opportunities
The Militants and the Police: Between the Two Terrors
The 'National Games'
A New Government at the Centre
The `Civil Face' of Governor Mukherjee's Administration
Governor Varma's Tenure
1990: The Killings Continue
Governor Malhotra Takes Charge
Attempts to Restore Democracy
Delhi's Inconsistent Punjab Policy
Elections by February 1992
From President's Rule to an Elected Government: The Return of Democracy
In Retrospect

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ISBN: 9788132117940