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Indira Gandhi allowed Bhindranwale to become 'Frankenstein': Operation Blue Star commander

Lt Gen (retd) Kuldeep Singh Brar led Operation Blue Star in 1984


Former prime minister Indira Gandhi “allowed” militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to become a “Frankenstein” before deciding to “finish him off”, said Lt Gen (retd) Kuldeep Singh Brar, who led Operation Blue Star in 1984.

Indira Gandhi ordered the operation between June 1 and June 8 to flush out Sikh militants, led by Bhindranwale, from the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It led to the death of nearly 600 people, mostly militants, and 79 soldiers. Five months later, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her bodyguards, and anti-Sikh violence broke out.

“No one wants an operation, but what do you do? Indira Gandhi allowed him to become Frankenstein. You could see every year what was happening. But when he reached the pinnacle, now finish him off, now destroy him. It’s too late," Lt Gen (retd) Brar said in a podcast with ANI.

The phrase 'Frankenstein's monster' or 'Frankenstein' from Mary Shelly's novel is now used to refer to something that becomes dangerous to its maker.

Bhindranwale was the chief of the Sikh religious sect Damdami Taksal. The 1971 war veteran went on to claim that the political leadership then allowed the Bhindranwale cult to flourish.

“They had their own little problem support between Akali and Congress. They allowed this cult of Bhindranwale to continue," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

Brar also talked about the situation in Punjab during the 1980s and how Bhindranwale held sway in the state then.

“In the 1980s, let’s say 1982, 83, 84, things were very bad over there. There was no law and order at all. Lot of police were afraid of taking action against anyone because Bhindranwale had become so powerful. He had become like a Frankenstein. His orders were the last orders."

Brar said law and order had collapsed in Punjab then and the “feeling of Khalistan" was strong.

“In the beginning of 1984, the feeling was very strong that they are going to declare Khalistan. The youth were without jobs. They had motorcycles and scooters and they roamed around with little pistols and revolvers. There were many gangsters. Law and order had totally broken down," Brar said in the podcast.

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