Sikhs across the world were shocked when news poured in that the Golden Temple had been captured by Indian armed forces.
Many Sikhs in prominent administrative positions resigned in protest, and many in the armed forces quit. Sikhs also returned awards and honors they had received from the Indian government, the most prominent being author Khushwant Singh who returned his Padma Bhushan.
The operation also led to the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31. She was gunned down by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh.
The assassination triggered anti-Sikh riots that went on for four days when Congress supporters went on a rampage killing Sikh men and women, destroying homes, and attacking Gurdwaras.
The worst-hit was Delhi. Sikhs fled the city in huge numbers. Human rights organisations put the death toll at between 10,000 and 17,000. Human Rights Watch says the government has yet to prosecute those responsible for the mass killings.