The first task was the destruction of Major-General Shahbeg Singh's
outer defenses. Much of this had been completed in the preliminary firing when Major-General Brar had hoped to frighten Bhindrenwale
into surrendering. These defences included the seventeen houses which the police had allowed Bhindanwale's followers to occupy
in the alleys sorrounding the Golden Temple. Some of them were as far as 800 yards away from the complex. These outposts were
all in wireless contact with Shahbeg Singh's command post in the Akal Takht. The Temple view hotel outside the Temple complex
had also been occupied. Next to it was Brahmbuta Akhara, a large bulding housing the headquarters of a Sikh sect. Then there
were three main towers which had been fortified to make positions from which Bhindranwale's men could fire into the Golden
Temple complex. Because they stood well above the rest of the building, the towers were also excellent observation posts for
watc hing the movement of troops in the narrow alleys sorrounding the Temple. The tops of these towers were blasted off the
by artillery fire. The use of artillery in the dense city of Amritsar prooved very costly, many innocent people living in
close proximity of Golden Temple lost their lives. Then the commando operation was planned.
It was between 10 and 10:30 PM when commandos from 1st Battalion,
the parachute regiment, wearing black denims were ordered to run down the steps under the clock tower on to the parikarma,
or pavement, turn right and move as quickly as they could round the edge of the sacred tank to the Akal Takht. But as the
paratroopers entered the main gateway to the Temple they were mown down. Most of the casualties were caused by Sikhs with
light machine-guns who were hiding on either side of the steps leading down to the parikarma. The few commandos who did get
down the steps were driven back by a barrage of fire from the building on the south side of the sacred pool. In the control
room, in a house on the opposite side of the clock-tower, Major-general Brar was waiting anxiously with his two supporting
officers to hear that the commandos had established positions inside the complex. When no report came through he was heard
over the command network sayin g, "You bastards, why don't you go in."
The few commandos who survived regrouped in hte square outside the
Temple, and reported back to Major-General Brar. He reinforced them and ordered them to make another attempt to go in. The
commandos were to be followed by the 10th Battalion of the Guards commanded by a Muslim, Lieutenant-colonel Israr Khan. This
battalion had Sikh soldiers in its rank. The second commando attack managed to neutralise the machine-gun posts on either
side of the steps and get down on to the parikarma. They were followed by the Guards who came under withering fire and were
not able to make any progress radioed for permission to fire back at the buildings on the other side of the tank. That would
have meant that the Golden Temple itself, which is in the middle of the tank, would have been in the line of fire. Brar refused
permission. But then he started to get messges from the commander of Guards reporting heavy casualties. They had suffered almost 20 percent casualties without managing to turn the corner of parikarma to the western sides. Sikhs
would also suddenly appear from man-holes in the parikarma the Guards were fighting from, lef off a burst of machine-gun fire
or throw lethal grenades, and disappear into the passages which run under the Temple. These machine-gunners had been taught
to fire at knee-level because Major-General Shahbeg Singh expected the army to crawl towards its objective, But the Guards
and commandos were not crawling, and so many of them received severe leg injuries.
Brar, then decided on a change of plan. He ordered to occupy the
roof tops of the clock towers as well as all the rooms along the parikarma. Army commandos rushed in from main clock
tower entrance, their objective being to neutralize fire from Akal Takht in North. They ran into trouble as soon as they went
down the steps, automatic gunfire hit them from both sides of stairs and more then 40 commandos lost their lives in less then
five minutes, amazingly only two Bhindrenwale supporters were firing at them. Next batch of commandos were able to run down
the stairs and turn right but here again, automatic gun fire from Akal Takht as well as old towers and water tank hit them.
By this time Soldiers from Bihar regiment had cordoned off the whole Golden Temple complex, but not very effectively. Madras
regiment was trying to enter through the Eastern gate and had reached many difficulties. While Kumaonis from North close to
Langar were trying desperately without much success. So General Brar requested tanks to be brought in to Golden Temple, but
he was give armored personnel carrier. Which was blown up by rocket launcher as soon as it had crossed Baba Deep Singh's Samadh.
Brar again requested tanks and was allowed this time. According
to Giani ji of Golden Temple, who was present at Golden Temple itself during all this time, as many as 13 tanks were brought
into parikarma and lined up on the eastern side, expensive marble was crushed and whole eastern parikarma broke.
Brar ordered to blew up the Akal Takht and thus the highest seat of Sikh authority was brought down by Indian army. Bhai ji at basement of Akal Takht tells us that Bhindrenwale came to Guru Granth Sahib and after Ardas said "Those
who want to be martyrs come with me" then he dashed outside in front of Akal Takht and was greeted with bullets, like about
40-50 of his group. Many were able to reach Sarovar . Next morning, Indian army was responsible for gutting down historical
Sikh relic, some soldiers set fire to Sikh library and many historical manuscripts were lost as well as treasury Toshakhana
was gutted. There were more then 140 bullets marks on Golden Temple itself, even though Indian army insisted that not a single
bullet was fired towards Golden Temple.
Sikh pilgrims who were held up by Army in buildings in and around
Guru Ram Das Sarai, Teja Singh Samundri Hall, etc. These innocent bystanders were not given any food or water for 4 days.
Army soldiers asked them to drink water mixed with urine from small puddles on ground. One army soldier went berserk and fired
on these innocent pilgrims killing 70. About 40 or so bodies of Sikh men with their hand tied up behind in execution style,
were found in several rooms. A Journalist saw a whole truck filled with bodies of women and children. There is more then enough
evidence that Army Soldiers were served alcohol as well as cigarettes inside Golden Temple complex.