THE UNEQUAL BATTLE (OPERATION BLUESTAR) by Harman Singh
It was an utterly unequal battle fought between a handful of Sikh defenders led by Sant Jarnail Singh Bhin-dranwale assisted by Major General Shahbeg Singh and Bhai Amrik Singh on one side and the massive Indian Army headed by Lt. General Krishnaswamy Sunderjit besides Lt. General Ranjit Singh Dyal and Kuldeep Singh Brar. The Sikh fighters were armed with ordinary weapons in comparison to the ones possessed by the Indian Army. The former had no superior weapon than Light Machine Guns. Other arms they possessed were sten-guns. carbines of. 30 caliber, self-loaded Rifles, 303 Rifles, revolvers and pistols of various calibres besides some hand grenades. On the other hand the Indian Army was equipped with all kinds of heavy and sophisticated weapons which included Main Battle Tanks “Vijayanta”. howitzer, heavy guns and canons using twenty-pounder shells, mortors. machine guns. light machine guns and other pieces of artillery used in a field war against an enemy country. Besides, the army had stun-gas bombs, incendiary bombs, highly explosive hand grenades. Armed Personnel Carriers. Armourd Carriers and a lot of other sophisticated weaponry. The Army used Russian made helicopters too. Numerical strength of the Sikh militants was also miserably insignificant in comparison to that of the Indian Army. The Sikh fighters were not more than two hundred whereas the Army’s numerical strength fighting them in the Complex was at least seven thousand.
The Sikh fighters had no line of communication and source of supply. They were totally cut off from the state. the country and the world. They were completely besieged in the Golden Temple Complex, particularly inside the Akal Takht. Supply of electricity and water was cut off. They had no reserves to reinforce their positions. They had nothing to eat but roasted grains, nothing to drink but their own sweat oozed from their bodies due to scorching heat. They had no place to answer the call of nature. They could not sleep for seven days and seven nights. They were exhausted and weared out under these horrible conditions. On the other hand Indian Army had all sorts of provisions, facilities, reserves and what not. Yet the Sikhs fought gallantly and demonstrated their remarkable valour, courage and fighting skill. Yet they held the well equipped Indian Army at bay for five days and gave it a bloody reply, the reply which the Army would remember for ever. Had the militant Sikhs been equally armed, had their numerical strength been even one-tenths of the Indian Army, they would have pushed the Army up to Delhi or even beyond Jamuna.
The unequal battle, that handful supporters ofSant Bhindranwale fought, would be recorded in the golden letters in the history of the Sikhs. The entire credit for this exemplary valour goes to Sant Bhindranwale who had enthused and inspired the Sikhs to fight for their rights and defend their faith. It would not be an exaggeration to say that after Guru Gobind Singh it was Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who has taught the Khalsa to live with dignity and die with honour,.