The Genocide


As many Indians regard Sikhs as sub-human (due to the dehumanization process), the killing begins and quickly becomes a mass killing legally called “genocide.” Politicians, state workers, police, public transportation, popular celebrities, state owned radio, and the military all take active or passive parts in the extermination of Sikhs.

Sequence of Events

First day (31 October)

  • 9:20 am: Indira Gandhi is shot by two of her Sikh security guards
  • 10:50 am: Indira Gandhi dies
  • 11:00 am: All India Radio listeners learn that the two security guards who shot Indira Gandhi were Sikhs.
  • 4:00 pm: Rajiv Gandhi returns from West Bengal
  • 5:00 pm: Stray incidents of attacks in and around Delhi.
  • 5:30 pm: The motorcade of President Zail Singh, who is returning from a foreign visit, is stoned

Evening and night
evening and night

  • Meetings are held and top Indian Government Officials decided to activate Operation Shanti 8 days early
  • Organized and well equipped death squads set-up by the government of India set out all across India
  • The violence, including violence towards Sikhs and destruction of Sikh properties, spreads
  • Rajiv Gandhi is sworn in as the Prime Minister
  • Government officials across India are sent out with lists of Sikh homes, a chock is used to mark each house door with a “X”
  • Public transportation is assigned to different death squads
  • Alcohol and weapons are procured for the death squads
  • Police and radio start to propagate false rumors regarding Sikhs killing Indians in Punjab
  • The first killing of a Sikh occurs in east Delhi and soon spreads across India

Second day (1 November)
the genocide

  • Armed Death Squads take over the streets and start killing Sikhs across India
  • More Alcohol and weapons are procured
  • Among the first targets are Gurdwaras, the holy temples of Sikhs, as ‘Operation Shanti’ was originally planned for a Sikh holiday
  • Police and public radio are still used to instigate the Death Squads to kill
  • Police are also used to disarm Sikhs before attacks
  • Violence spreads from major cities across India to small villages where Sikhs number only in the tens

Third day (2 November)

  • Wide scale killing of Sikhs throughout India is reported
  • Public radio and public transportation is still being used to exterminate Sikhs
  • In some cases police and the army stand ideally by, in others they take an active part in exterminating Sikhs
  • In small rural India, entire villages are ethnically cleansed of all Sikhs
  • Death Squads try to locate any surviving Sikh outside of Punjab

Fourth day (3 November)
fourth day

  • Sikh property, homes, business and places of worship are looted for any valuables
  • Areas where entire Sikh families were exterminated, land is divided amongst the Death Squads
  • By late evening, Police units finally work to subdue the violence
  • After law enforcement intervention, violence is completely subdued