It was a time in the 1970’s and 80’s the political turmoil was up with the Akali Dal and the central government in New Delhi for the establishment of a Sikh majority state i.e Khalistan. The then Congress party leader Sanjay Gandhi thought of establishing an internal power inside Punjab to suppress the Akali Dal and Central government conflict and raised a personality as Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The Khalistani extremism went to peak and it was seen that Bhindranwale was slowly acting against the government , then a new leader was emerging for a voice to have a separate Punjab state under the movement and leader of Khalistani extremists named Jagjit Singh Chohan.
Bhindranwale established his base in Gurudwara and began his operations from this location all over the country which was of course funded by Pakistani ISI, who was more interested in the disruption of India. He along with Balbir Singh Sandhu, in Amritsar and many parts of the world began their Khalistani referendum and its campaigning to have strong base of their activities across the globe.
The government realized this threat to the country and decided to eliminate this power from the country with its forces and in 1983 there were two operations launched by the government “Operation Blue Star” and “Operation Black Thunder”.
Also Read, Khalistan Referendum: Beating A Dead Horse
Operation Blue Star and Black Thunder I and II:
In 1984, the government has indeed realized the potential threats posed by these Khalistani extremists in and around Golden Temple making it a safe haven for the group. The operation was planned to flush out these people from Golden Temple and assassinate them with a high-level commando operation. It was then inexperienced military of that time to have dealt with such a major operation before needed a helping hand an intel gathering to perform a commando operation in Golden Temple
It was then in 1981, the army commandos secretly got trained by Mossad under a recreated landscape with busy streets and vehicles in Sayeret Matkal. The SG (Special Group) commandos made use of M-1 steel helmets, bulletproof jackets, with sophisticated guns including AK-47 assault rifles.
It should be noted that India of that time did not have any strong diplomatic ties with Israel keeping in mind to sustain our relation with the Arab world. Yet the intelligence wings were in constant touch with each other and developed a mutual trust going forward.
However, when the operation was conducted by the Indian army commandos the army underestimated or miscalculated the strength of the militants hiding inside the Golden Temple. While the commandoes were in full charge, the Sikh militants, whose armaments included Chinese-made rocket-propelled grenade launchers and ammunition with armour-piercing capability, and showed great resistance from the militants. The Indian forces then slowly gained its ground with minimal damage to the temple and flushed the militants out of the temple. In the operation, a majority of civilian causality was reported as well.
The action had indeed criticized the Sikh community around the world and although the desired result was achieved by the military, however, it was treated as disastrous by the army. The leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was assassinated in this operation.
Subsequent to Blue Star, a more advanced version Operation Black Thunder I and II, were initiated in 1986 following the assassination of PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi by her Sikh security guards, wherein around 200-300 Sikh militants were sheltering the temple premises once again and this time it was under the leadership of Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, the DGP of Punjab in which the NSG commandoes charged in the temple along with BSF troop personal and captured the militants. The militants captured were later released due to lack of evidence but then this ranged political war between the Akalis and the Barnala’s party who permitted for this operation.
For Operation black thunder II, a specialized training module was set up with a model of Golden Temple in which the Special Action Group commandoes, were then trained and led by Kanwar Pal Singh Gill who was the DGP of Punjab Police with snipers positioned in place. This time they were determined to not make any mistakes in Blue star operation and the operation led to 41 killed and and 200 militants surrendered.
Role of Mossad:
While all these operations have been fundamental and critical in their own way, we would need to underline the role of Mossad in training Indian commandos upon our request even after not having diplomatic ties with the country of Israel. The Israeli commandos in those times who trained the SG team of Operation Blue Star were also involved in rescuing hostages from Uganda’s Entebbe airport in 1977. The role of this agency cannot be ruled out in any manner in combating extremists and covert operations around the world.
Current Working Pattern of R&AW:
Inspired by the inevitable support received by Mossad in 1984 against Khalistani extremists, the Indian Intel wing has upgraded its activities in the world in the modes operandi seen by Mossad. While it was the track search and snatch strategy followed by RAW back in the UPA era, it has now started approaching the track, search and finish policy followed in this NDA era which has many examples to prove it.
The month of April witnessed a series of incidents by Khalistani activists in the UK in which the national flag was brought down in the Indian embassy by the extremist forces. This certainly not go well with the Indian government and the people involved at the MEA and NSA levels. Gone are the days when India could leave such incidents as one of the few incidents that could happen, in which national pride was brought down. Similar incidents were targeted this year in 2023, when a tableau immerged from the Indira Gandhi assassination by Sikh extremists in Canada and temples were attacked in Australia, while the consulate was set ablaze by Khalistani activists in San Francisco. The NIA took over these incidents seriously.
While it is clear that the actions of these terror outfits have been funded and the direct involvement of Pakistan into such crimes cannot be ruled out, there were reports that Pakistani ISI has now started involvement with these organizations actively in the past few days. The farmer’ s protest and the act at the Red Fort involving innocent Punjabi farmers were all cited examples of these outfits functioning outside India actively in order to malign the image of a rising power.
Lastly, it should be noted that these anti-social elements wander freely around the world and the support they receive from within the country is close to NIL and there has been no tolerance of having a seperate state of Punjab in any which way. Needless to say that the involvement of intel services with Israeli forces has grown with time and there was a need of the hour to have such intel sharing with Indian forces to gain momentum and work for forces acting against the sovereignty of the country.
The time under the current government has made the forces work more fiercely without any restrictions by any government body and our covert operations can now be termed Mossad-style operations which involve intel inputs from friendly countries around the world.
The NSA meeting of the UK, USA and other Western nations proves that our hold and roots are not limited only to Israel but to other western powers making the country terror-free.
The Mossad style operations have their own benefits it has to be noted that there should be a strong commitment to match the style that Mossad has for R&AW. The budget constraints for research and development, the public trust to gain and sustain, the accuracy of the inputs and strong military support. Whilst the current era could readily witness many such unclassified stories and theories in the coming days as long as these anti-social nationals are out there in the living, our defense forces and intel wings could undoubtedly play a major role in developing a safe and sound environment for each Indian all over the world.
Many media reports claim that a wanted Khalistani terrorist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar, was shot dead in Canada with the help of R&AW. Recently, Canada’s Prime Minister accused India of this act, although they haven’t shown any facts or evidence to support their claim, Similarly the man who brought down the flag of India, Avtar Singh Khanda was poisoned in the UK, a Pakistan-based operator Paramjit Singh Panjwar was shot dead while many other involved in the incidents in UK and Australia have been underground as per the reports in various media.
Although, Involvement of R&AW in all the above incidents are yet to be clarified by any known sources however there is no clarification or any documents or evidence to support these working patterns, yet the trend which is being shown in the overall pattern seems to be pointing out towards such speculations. TIMES now and various media sources have readily made their claims on this working style.
“A famous saying about intelligence agencies is, ‘If they want to get you, over time, they will, and they neither confirm nor deny it.'”
Nevertheless, we need our national flag and pride to be higher and higher than ever. Jai Hind!!!