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1984 Pogrom

Who Are The Guilty? Chronology Of Events

Annexure – I: Chronology Of Events


October 31

09.40 Mrs. Indira Gandhi assassinated
10.00 All senior defence officers informed and apprehension of trouble.
10.30 Meeting at PM’s house where security discussed and suggestion for calling out the army given. Among those present: Commissioner Police, Lt. Governor of Delhi and M.L Fotedar.
11.00 AIR announces attempt on PM’s life
12.00 AIR announces PM in hospital
13.30 Radio Australia announces Mrs. Gandhi dead
14.00 Spotnews in front of newspaper offices announces Mrs. Gandhi dead Special one page editions of dailies announce Mrs. Gandhi’s assailants as two Sikhs and one clean shaven Sikh.
16.00 Violence starts outside AIIMS. Unarmed persons beat up Sikhs and burn their turbans in the presence of a large number of armed forces.
18.00 AIR announces Mrs. Gandhi dead, and soon after swearing in of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi as MP along with three cabinet ministers.
22.00 Violence and burning in many parts of Delhi.
23.00 Senior MP phones Home Minister and informs him of situation in Delhi. Home Minister reportedly said that everything was under control
Sometime late at night A top level review of law and order situation by PM’s Secretariat and Home Ministry.

In the day Army alerted (around 14.00)


Violence, burning, killing and looting in all parts of Delhi all day and night. Mourners visit Teen Murti all day.

Morning Mr. Shiv Shankar, Mr. Narsimha Rao and Lt. Governor and President contacted by many MPs and prominent citizens including those with armed forces background report on the situation in Delhi and the need to call out the army. Home Minister informed that army will need clear cut instructions and need for joint centre of operation to coordinate army and civilian authorities. Killing starts in places like Trilokpuri.
14.00 Army called out
14.30 Shiv Shankar in contact with Gavai; Gavai informs that curfew being considered.
16.00 Charan Singh meets President to brief him about events and need for army protection.
18.00 Indefinite curfew impresed
18.30 An M.P contracts Home Minister to inform of the situation in Delhi and that troops were not around
20.00 PM informs leaders of opposition that there are not enough troops in Delhi
Night Large scale killing of Sikhs. Not one round fired by the army and no flag marches. Rumour that water supply poisoned all over Delhi and rumour supported by many police station.


The body of PM lies in state. Curfew and shoot at sight orders all day. Looting and killing continues all day. All Delhi bound trains cancelled. Mourners visit Teen Murti House all day.

8.30 A senior MP phones Home Minister regarding the danger to incoming trains
10.15 A MP contacts Shiv Shankar and asks that protection be given to trains. Note: No army protection given and 43 trains passengers reported killed in Delhi (Times of India November 3, 1984)
13.30 A M.P contacts Shri Shiv Shankar and informs him about the situation in the city. Mr. Shiv Shankar tries to contact the Home Minister, Lt. Governor, Krishanaswamy Rao Saheb and Wali but none available.
Afternoon Killing continue in areas like Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri. Few peace marches in the city. Gangs roaming certain areas with iron rods and trishuls in presence of armed forces.
Evening PM makes appeals for peace and states that he cannot and will not allow violence
Night Killing and violence continue in some parts of the city. Some victims collect at police thanas. Army did not fire a single round or conduct flag marches all day.


Curfew relaxed from 09.00 to 20.00. Sporadic violence around city all day.

Morning Oppositions parties and Congress (I) MPs contacted by many citizens about the extent of the problem and killings in Delhi.
12.30 Funeral procession starts from Teen Murti
Afternoon Terror stricken victims of violence collect in thanas and Gurudwaras
16.00 Funeral pyre lit at Shanti Van
23.30 Lt. Governor P. G. Gavai proceeds on leave/Mr. M. M. K. Wali appointed Lt. Governor


Curfew continues in city
Super Bazaar in West Patel Nagar looted. Stabbing incidence in Shandara, Badarpur and Anand Prabat.
Cabinet expanded
Approximately 50, 000 Sikhs in relief camps
Most of the relief organised by voluntary agencies.


Curfew relaxed from 05.00 to 21.00
Exchange of fire in Chuna Mandi
Two persons burnt alive in Nathu Chowk
Conditions in most relief camps still chaotic


Curfew relaxed from 05.00 to 21.00
Joint Secretaries put incharge of camps. Civil Administration takes over from the army the charge of running camps.
Relief Schemes announced (but enough forms not available with government on November 11, forms printed privately by voluntary agencies)


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