Odisha News Insight

Lest We Forget…The Genocide of 1984

1984-Sikh-Riots1st November 1984 – There was a genocide on the streets of Delhi soon after the brutal murder of then PM late Indira Gandhi. There were no riots. Riots occur when two communities clash with each other. There were no clashes. Innocent Sikhs were massacred and burnt alive, their houses were set on fire without being given a chance to retaliate.

My village in Odisha had no Sikhs. But, I witnessed how a traveler Sikh Truck Driver was brutally beaten up by the mob. The Sardar took out a sword in self-defence, but he was overpowered. His turban was removed and his hairs were burnt. As a 9-year-old kid, I was frightened to witness that scene and ran away. Later, I heard that he was rescued by the cops with serious injuries.

And, Rajiv Gandhi, who became the PM of the country following his mother’s death, said, “When a big tree falls, the earth shakes”. It is believed that over 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi and thousand others across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other parts of India were killed in the massacre, which lasted for three days.

By Sagar Satapathy

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