Many of the arrested Sikh devotees were brutally beaten and killed. Thousands of Sikhs from rural Panjab marched towards the Complex when they heard about the army's attack. They were fired upon from helicopters.
The army deliberately set fire to the Sikh Reference Library after the attack was over. Valuable archives and material of significant historical importance were destroyed in this fire. The army claims that the library caught fire during the crossfire. The library was intact until the evening of June 6, 1984. This has been verified by the in-charge of the library, Sardar Devinder Singh Duggal. The library was set ablaze on June 7, in the early hours of the morning.
Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora, who studied the front of the Akal Takht before it was repaired, reckoned that as many as eighty high-explosive squash-head shells were fired into the Akal Takht Sahib.
Two major events took place in India, during 1984 in quick succession within a span of 5 month. The Indian Army attacked Akal Takhat Sahib in June, and an anti-Sikh genocidal campaign was undertaken by the ruling political party with...
Pilgrims start to gather at Sri Harimandar Sahib and Akal Takht Sahib Complex, commemorating the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Sahib. The Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force start firing upon the Complex to test the defenses and preparedness of the Sikh fighters, in which at least 8 people died.
On June 1 afternoon, mixed groups of various security agencies that had occupied the multi-storied buildings in the circumference did open fire against the temple complex when Bhindranwale was holding his audience on the roof of the kitchen building. Instead of targeting Bhindranwale, the sharpshooters aimed at various buildings, including the main shrine of Harmandir Sahib which sustained 34 bullet marks. The objective of this barrage of firing, that lasted for seven hours, was to assess the strength, the training, and the preparedness of Bhindranwale’s resistance. According to Devinder Singh Duggal, in charge of the Sikh Reference Library located inside the Golden Temple complex and an eye-witness, Bhindranwale’s followers were under strict instructions “not to fire a single shot unless and until the security forces or the Army entered the holy Golden Temple.” The action claimed the lives of eight pilgrims, including a woman and a child, inside the temple complex and injured 25 others. The Government of India’s document called the White Paper on Punjab released on 10 July 1984, does not acknowledge this incident. - Ram Narayan Kumar, Reduced to Ashes
Panjab is “Sealed off” to foreigners. Indian Army replaces Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Border Security Force (BSF) in Panjab. At least seven divisions of the army are deployed in the villages of Panjab.