New Delhi [India], October 9 (ANI): A former intelligence officer with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), GBS Sidhu has written how pro-Khalistan sentiments and Sikh extremism "were deliberately encouraged and then crushed with a heavy hand to draw political mileage".
The upcoming book `The Khalistan Conspiracy', is a first-person account that brings out little-known facts about the Khalistan movement and the role of senior politicians of the time "in creating and sustaining it".
The book published by HarperCollins will be released on October 24.
"The contents of this book revolve around a two-phased, top-secret operation, which I name "Operation Bhindranwale-Khalistan". It was initiated and managed by some senior and influential Congress leaders operating from the prime minister's residential office at 1 Akbar Road, New Delhi," said author GBS Sidhu.
"Normally, no records are kept of such operations, and everything is decided verbally. However, as that operation had some external ramifications, the RAW became involved in one form or the other. It was in that context that I had my own personal experiences and insights related to the operation, and they form the core of this book...," he added.
Sidhu, who served in R&AW for twenty-six years and retired as Special Secretary in 1998 said, "What was the final solution to the Punjab / Khalistan problem that the 1 Akbar Road group wanted? Was it to ensure maximum impact on their potential voters in the next general elections? Why was the hope of a negotiated settlement with moderate Akali Dal leaders kept dangling till the very end of May 1984, a few days before Operation Blue Star was launched?... Why were other comparatively less harmful solutions to capture Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple complex overruled?... The purpose of this book is to unravel the truth behind the developments leading to Operation Blue Star and its aftermath."
Swati Chopra, Executive Editor of Harpercollins India, said, "The anti-Sikh violence of 1984 following Indira Gandhi's brutal assassination, Operation Blue Star and its aftermath earlier that year, and the period of militancy that followed in Punjab form a dark chapter of our contemporary history. The author, who witnessed some of these events at close quarters and others from behind the scenes, has attempted to bring to light hitherto unknown facts, making this a brave and important book that everyone who cares about truth, justice and reconciliation must read."
With a timeline that moves seven years before to a decade after 1984, the book strives to answer critical questions that continue to linger till today.
The narrative moves from Punjab to Canada, the US, Europe and Delhi, looking to sift the truth from the "political obfuscation and opportunism, examining the role that the ruling party allegedly played", and the heart-rending violence that devoured thousands of innocent lives in its aftermath. (ANI)