Congress, Bhindranwale and Kanishka bombing! The chain of blunders and disasters

Heard of Congress? Yes of course.

Heard of Bhindranwale? Yes, but nothing more than he was killed during Operation Blue star.

Heard of Kanishka bombing?

Many of us do not even know of this fateful event which took 329 lives.

With backing from pakisthan, Khalisthan movement has started to take breath slowly again.

There was a incident in Delhi when these khalisthani activists drew the sword to threaten an officer on duty.

A lady abused India during world cup cricket match, it was later cleared that she is a khalisthani activist.

2 days back, singer Hard Kaur was seen abusing PM Modi and openly singing in support to the Khalisthan.

We all have heard this proverb-

“what you sow, shall you reap”

The disatrous effect of blunders committed by Congress post independence is evident till today.

What went wrong with Bhindranwale? What caused Kanishka bombing?

Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was the head of the orthodox Sikh religious school Damdami Taksal.

The growth of Bhindranwale was not solely by his own efforts.

In the late 1970s Indira Gandhi’s Congress party supported Bhindranwale to split the Sikh votes and weaken the Akali Dal, which was its chief rival in Punjab.

Congress supported the candidates backed by Bhindranwale in the 1978 elections. The Congress leader Giani Zail Singh allegedly financed the initial meetings of the separatist organisation Dal Khalsa.

In the 1980 election, Bhindranwale supported Congress candidates. Bhindranwale was originally not very influential, but the activities of Congress elevated him to the status of a major leader by the early 1980s.

This later turned out to be a miscalculation as Bhindranwale’s separatist political objectives became popular among the agricultural Jat Sikhs in the region.


On 13 April 1978 the festival of Vaisakhi in India, the day to celebrate the birth of Khalsa Sant Nirankari convention was organized in Amritsar with permission from the Akali Dal state government.

Their practice doesn’t go well with the orthodox Sikhs as Bhindranwale.

From Golden Temple premises, Bhindranwale delivered an angry sermon in which he declared that he would not allow this convention and would go there and cut them to pieces.

In tge violence that followed several people were killed: two of Bhindranwale’s followers, eleven members of the Akhand Kirtani Jatha and three Nirankaris.

The case was booked on the nirankaris but the high Court acquitted the nirankaris leaders saying they acted on self defence. the orthodox Sikhs claimed this to be a conspiracy to defame the Sikh religion.

Bhindranwale had created a emotion among Sikhs, it was OK now to kill someone to have their ideology supported.

In 1983, militants led by Damdami Taksal, Bhindranwale occupied Akal Takht of Golden Temple and amassed weapons in the Sikh temple.

The militants were demanding more powers to the state from Central government and autonomy by changes in the Indian constitution. Or else they demanded creation of a Sikh state, to be called Khalisthan.

In the violent events since their inception the militants had killed  410 people in violent incidents and riots, while 1,180 people were injured.

The Central government rejected the secessionist demands and on 3rd to 6th June 1984, Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi ordered Operation Blue Star, to remove the militants from the Golden Temple.

Sikhs protested against the operation worldwide. On 31 October 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards. In retaliation, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, guided by certain Indian National Congress members, killed thousands of Sikhs in India.

The Kanishka bombing:

Parmar, a Sikh who had escaped gin fight with punjab police had fled to Canada. And Indian government had notified Canadian government that Parmar was a noted terrorist.

Parmar visited Inderjit Singh Reyat, an auto mechanic and electrician who lived in Duncan, British Columbia, a small community north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.

Parmar and Bagri started to instigate hatred in the Sikh community though their speeches. “Unite, Fight And kill” became their motto to avenge the attack on golden temple.

Reyat built bomb using dynamite and digital clock. He used to enquire neighbours about the strength of dynamite.

On 22 June 1985, at 13:30 UTC a man calling himself “Manjit Singh” called to confirm his reservations on Air India Flight 181/182. He asked agent Jeannie Adams to check his dark brown, hard-sided Samsonite suitcase, and have it transferred to Air India Flight 181 and then to Flight 182 to India.

The agent initially refused his request to inter-line the baggage since his seat from Toronto to Montreal and from Montreal to Bombay was unconfirmed.  As he started to walk away, she agreed to accept the bag, but told him he would have to check in again with Air India in Toronto. After the crash, Adams realised this deception got the bag on its way to Flight 182. The anxious man was never identified.

In response to threats from Sikh activists, Air India had requested extra security, leading Canada to assign extra policemen in terminals in Toronto and Montreal, and all baggage was to be checked by X-ray or by hand.

But after the X-ray machine broke down that day, inspectors used a portable PDD-4 explosive sniffer. checkers were not instructed on how to react to only a short beep, so they allowed the bag to pass on its way.

At 00:15 UTC (8: 15 p.m., 22 June) on 23 June, Air India Flight 181, a Boeing 747-237B named Emperor Kanishka, departed Toronto Pearson International Airport for Montréal–Mirabel International Airport.

The plane arrived in Montréal-Mirabel International Airport at 01:00 UTC (9:00 p.m., 22 June). There, it became Flight 182.

Flight 182 departed for London Heathrow Airport, en route to Palam International Airport, Delhi, and Sahar International Airport, Bombay. 329 people were on board: 307 passengers and 22 crew. Captain Hanse Singh Narendra served as the captain, with Captain Satwinder Singh Bhinder as the first officer. and Dara Dumasia as the flight engineer. Many of the passengers were going to visit family and friends.

The bomb in a suitcase in the forward cargo hold exploded while the plane was at 31,000 feet. It caused explosive decompression and the break-up of the aircraft in mid-air. The wreckage settled in 6,700 feet deep water off the south-west Irish coast, 120 miles offshore of County Cork. No “mayday” call was received by Shannon ATC. By 07:30:00 GMT, ATC had declared an emergency and requested nearby cargo ships and the Irish Naval Service vessel to look out for the aircraft.

Another bomb planting idea went wrong and 55 minutes before the Flight 182 bombing, it exploded at the terminal in Narita International Airport. Two Japanese baggage handlers were killed and four other people were injured.

There were infants, children among those killed. Terrorist had massacred 300 odd people to avenge attack on their religious sentiments.

There was a mistake done in past of not recognizing the terrorist and his intentions. Which led to riots and numerous killings. A terrorist not loyal to any country, they act upon their instinct and their belief. Before these khalisthani activist gather some more momentum, they need to be checked. India can not afford to be the breeding ground for these terrorists.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth