Onkar Singh in New Delhi
The former director general of Punjab police K P S Gill has joined issue with Sarabjit Singh, the author of the controversial book Operation Black Thunder: An Eyewitness Account of Terrorism in Punjab, slamming it for containing an 'unauthentic account' of the 1988 Operation Black Thunder.
Earlier, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, the former president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, had threatened to file a suit against Sarabjit Singh and former chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal for allegedly maligning him.
Based on the reported contents of the book, Badal had alleged that Tohra had given his tacit approval for the 1984 Operation Bluestar.
Operation Black Thunder was carried out in 1988 to flush out militants who had entered Golden Temple, Amritsar. In sharp contrast to 1984 Operation Bluestar, the operation succeeded in flushing out the militants without causing any bloodshed.
"This is a highly personalised account of the Operation Black Thunder. The author (former deputy commissioner of Amritsar) Sarabjit Singh believes that he was the one who was running Operation Black Thunder," Gill told rediff.com in New Delhi on Monday.
"The book does not mention that Operation Black Thunder was initially code named as Operation Gill. Later they changed the name to Operation Black Thunder and it was a coordinated one," Gill said.
He said that the book written by Mark Tully on Operation Black Thunder was closer to reality than the one written by the former deputy commissioner.
"The only problem with Tully was he had overemphasized the role of Julio Ribeiro," Gill contended.
Denying he was getting desperate and wanted to storm the temple complex as reportedly alleged in the book, Gill said, "The trouble with him (Sarabjit Singh) is that he thinks he is the only one who was involved."
He also denied that the then Union Home Minister Buta Singh and his deputy P Chidambaram were unhappy with Sarabjit and himself and had come to Amritsar in the night to give them 'an earful'.
But he admitted that the government was prepared to dismiss Sarabjit Singh and himself under Article 311 of the Constitution.
"The two ministers had come to clarify the allegations made against us by the National Security Guards. One of the allegations was that the Doordarshan team was not allowed to go into the temple complex by the authorities. In fact it was the NSG who had prevented the Doordarshan team from going into the temple complex for filming. We produced the Doordarshan unit before the two ministers and they told them the truth. After our explanations the government dropped the idea of dismissing two of us from service," Gill said.
Operation Black Thunder author gives clean chit to Tohra
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