It was on this day 27 years ago that Operation Blue Star flushed out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his separatist followers from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
It was a military raid ordered by Indira Gandhi to eliminate separatists who had taken cover in the holiest of Sikh shrines. The operation spanned four days, between June 3 and 6, and was carried out by the Indian Army which laid siege to the temple complex with tanks and armoured vehicles.
The then Vice-Chief of Indian Army SK Sinha was first asked to lead the operation, but he advised against it saying it this would hurt Sikh sentiments. Indira Gandhi replaced him with Lt Gen A S Vaidya, who along with Lt Gen K Sundarji then planned the operation.
The operation kicked-off with a 36-hour curfew on June 3. All communication was suspended in Punjab, cutting off the state from the rest of the world.
The assault on the temple and the timing of it came in for heavy criticism as heavy artillery was used in the congested by lanes of Amritsar which lead to the death of many innocent bystanders. There was a huge uproar in the Sikh community worldwide, which was followed by hate crimes on Sikhs in parts of India.