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On 5th June 1984, the Indian army began its attack on the complex at Amritsar which house the two most sacred shrines Generals who had pledge to minimum force, and on no account to violate the shrines, were not prepared for the fierce and adept resistance they encountered. Having suffered severe casualties, the infantry were driven back, and as a last resorts -with approval from Delhi-tanks were ordered in. The Akal Takht was virtually reduced to rubble. Its is doubtful if Mrs Gandhi weould have initiated Operation Blue Star had she known how bloody and devastating would be the consequences of that 24- hour conflict.
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About the Author

Sir Mark Tully KBE is the former Bureau Chief of BBC, New Delhi. He joined BBC in 1964 as the India Correspondent, and continued working until 1994, when he resigned as the Bureau Chief. Tully's other books on India include Raj to Rajiv: 40 Years of Indian Independence, India in Slow Motion, No Full Stops in India, India's Unending Journey and India: The Road Ahead. Tully was born in Calcutta, British India, in 1935. He went back to England at the age of nine and went to Twyford School, Marlborough College. Tully later studied theology at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Tully is the recipient of several awards including the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1985 and was knighted in the New Year Honours 2002. Satish Jacob is a veteran journalist who retired from BBC in 2002, after having served as a correspondent and Deputy Bureau Chief over his 26 year career with BBC. His other published work is Satish Jacob from Hotel Palestine Baghdad. Jacob began his career as a trainee journalist with The Statesman before joining BBC News, after a brief stint at The Patriot. Along with Mark Tully, Satish Jacob reported some of the most dramatic events in modern Indian history including Operation Bluestar and the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

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