It is through the daily roll call of death that you can have a record of the massacre that took place during the 80s in one of the prosperous states of India, i.e. Punjab. In 1986, the number of people killed in terrorist killings was more than 600. However, the number reduced to mere 60 in 1985, but still the numbers are quite staggering. The numbers cannot expound the mental agony of all those people who lost their loved ones. Punjab insurgency originated in the late 1970s, was a threat to the unity and integrity of India due to the militant Sikh ethno nationalism known as the Khalistan movement.
1980’s Upsurge of Violence During Punjab Insurgency
The village of Jhanjoti, one of the terrorist-infected districts, nestles near Amritsar airport. It was a hot summer night when the fate of some of the unfortunate families was about to change forever. The group of terrorists had marked their target, i.e. a group of 5 Hindu homes. These terrorists came prepared, and they have marked the households with the male members they haven’t terrorized.
Surjit Rani, a widow, was about to end her day, and she was all set to sleep. She was about to sleep, but her sleep was disturbed by perpetual thumping on the door. It took her couple of seconds to figure out that something is not right. In those fraction of seconds, different thoughts crossed her mind where she is making plans how she can avoid opening the door, how she can make her sons escape, and simultaneously crying out for help. Understandably, she was in a situation which is hard to describe in words.
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Praying to the Almighty With a Sense of Impending Doom
But, before Surjit Rani can put her thoughts into action, the door was slammed open, and she found herself standing helpless in front of four heavily armed terrorists wearing saffron turbans.
Suddenly, a raucous sound disturbed the silence, and she was asked to tell them the whereabouts of her son and arms. They asked her to hand over the arms ASAP. At this moment, Ms Surjit, understandably, was filled with fear and with trembling voice, she replied that her son (Shyama) is not at home and there are no arms at home.
However, the terrorists trespassed and dragged Shyama (who was sleeping at that moment) out. One of the terrorists slapped him so hard that he fell on the ground. The terrorists then moved to the house of Devan Chand, Surjit Rani’s brother-in-law. They kept dragging Shyama the whole way.
It was Devan Chand’s wife Rooprani who was one of the first witnesses to see them. She said that she was sleeping in the courtyard and started praying to the almighty with a sense of impending doom.
What Happened Rooprani’s Family in Couple of Minutes
Rooprani was worried about the lives of her three grandchildren, so she hugged them tightly as the armed men kept on yelling, asking the whereabouts of the male members. At that moment, she was completely speechless but before she could reply the armed men dragged Devan Chand out along with his son Ashok who was sleeping inside.
When all of them were facing each other, Rooprani knew what is going to happen in the next couple of minutes.
Realizing what is going to happen with her family members, she started running in the streets pleading for help. But, it seemed like the villagers lost their hearing abilities, and it was only her who was screaming at the top of her lungs to save her men.
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Deadly Massacre That Was All Too Real
Gripped with utter fear, nobody from the village dared to come out. Owing to this, they decided to follow the terrorists towards the fields. Seeing them follow, they said that they would pull the trigger if they keep following them. Hearing this, they decided to halt there.
All three men were mowed down. When she reached the scene, the bodies were in such a state that you need all the courage in the world to have a glance at them.
It was certainly one of the black days in the history of Punjab as terrorists took more than 500 innocent lives and affected dozen other families including the family of Punjab ex-finance minister Jiwan Singh Umranangal . Jathedar Jiwan Singh Umranangal always spoke against the wrongdoings. He believed in the philosophy of Sikhism and supported that a true believer should always be ready to sacrifice his/her life for the Truth.
Umranangal continued his single-handed war of words with the terrorists even though his son got killed by KSF. Umranangal’s conviction that whatever he’s doing is correct – was commendable. After his demise, the legacy was continued by his grandson IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal.
This is another real story of the massacre that took place during the ’80s in Punjab. We’ll tell you in detail what happened with the Umranangal family. Please be continue with the story (Punjab Insurgency – An Untold Story (Part 2)
What happened with Surjit Rani and Rooprani, to know more stick around for the next part of this story……..