'Repeat 1984' 'Missing Indira Gandhi': Chilling Anti-Sikh Tweets Rise

BOOM found several Twitter handles tweeting and openly calling for a repeat of the 1984 Anit-Sikh riots

As violence broke out on Republic Day in New Delhi after protesting farmers and the Delhi Police clashed during the tractor rally, several Twitter users started tweeting anti-Sikh rhetoric, with calls for repeating the 1984 Sikh genocide. Some tweeted against the Sikh community while invoking the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's name, asking for a crackdown on protesters.

The reference to the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and action against protesters is a reminder of Operation Blue Star - code name for Indian military action carried out in June, 1984 to capture the Sikh extremist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers hidden inside the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, Punjab. Gandhi had given the go-ahead for the operation and faced severe criticism for the destruction at the Golden Temple and loss of lives due to the operation. Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, for giving permission to the army to conduct Operation Blue Star. The assassination was followed by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots with government estimates projecting about 2,800 Sikhs killed in Delhi alone and around 3,350 were killed across the country during the riots.

"Missing Indira Gandhi today"

We found several right-leaning social media users, including Kreately - a self publishing right-wing platform that ran a poll asking if anti-Congress supporters were missing Indira Gandhi on that day. The poll had around 6,300 votes with 81.9% voting yes. It is important to note that Kreately is publicised and backed by Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra.

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A search for 'missing Indira Gandhi' led to several Twitter users using hashtag #shoot and tweeting that they are missing Indira Gandhi and demanding 'action' against the protesters.

'Lost respect for Sikh community'

A simple keyword search on Twitter showed several replies and tweets that are communal in nature and targeting the Sikh community. One such tweet which got around 4,300 retweets and around 21 thousand likes read, "Sorry, but today I lost respect for Sikh community."

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On looking for the words - 'lost respect for sikhs' and 'missing Indira Gandhi' we found several other provocative tweet replies

Twitter search

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'Repeat 1984'

There were several other Twitter users justifying the 1984 anti-Sikh riots with some going to the extent of demanding another genocide.

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At the time of writing this article, the tweets still remain and have not been taken down by the platform.

The Farmer unions had been granted permission by the police to hold tractor rallies in the national capital along three designated routes from the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders. However, clashes broke out between farmers and police after the former broke through barricades at the Singhu, Ghazipur and Tikri borders around 8.30 am and the police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas. Even as police pushed back, a section of farmers breached the Red For complex and unfurled a religious Sikh flag on one of the flag poles in the complex. Read here

There have been ongoing protests at different borders of Delhi by farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh camping on the outskirts of Delhi since November 26, 2020. The farmers have been demanding the repeal of three farm bills passed by the central government last year.

Also Read: Khalistan Flag Hoisted At Red Fort? A FactCheck

Updated On: 2021-01-29T16:31:54+05:30
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