New Delhi: A member of the banned terrorist group Khalistan Commando Force (KFC) and an associate of Jarnail Singh Bhinderwale, who was killed by the Indian Army in ‘Operation Blue Star’ in 1984, was nabbed by the Delhi police, officials said on Wednesday. (Also read: Anti-Sikh Riots: Justice Khanna Recuses Himself From Hearing Sajjan Kumar’s Appeal)

The accused Gursewak (53), is a member of KFC and was arrested by the crime branch from ISBT Delhi where he had come to meet one of his contacts.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ajit Kumar Singla said Gursewak was previously involved in more than 50 cases of terrorist activities, murders of police officials and informers, robberies in banks and police station among others.

He remained in jail for more than 26 years in different cases and was in regular touch with some Pakistan-based terrorists, police said.

‘Operation Blue Star’ was carried out to remove militant religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhinderwale and his followers from the buildings of the Golden Temple complex. In July 1982, Harchand Singh Longowal, the President of the Akali Dal, had invited Bhindranwale to stay in the temple complex to evade arrest.

Bhinderwale went on to make the temple his headquarters. In the events leading up to ‘Operation Blue Star’, militants had killed many Hindus, Nirankaris, and Sikhs opposed to Bhinderwale.

The Intelligence Bureau reported that weapons training was being provided at gurdwaras in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The Soviet intelligence agency KGB reportedly tipped off the Indian agency RAW about the CIA and ISI working together on a plan for Punjab.

On June 1, 1984, after negotiations with the militants failed, then prime minister Indira Gandhi ordered the Army to launch ‘Operation Blue Star’. The Army asked the militants to surrender. However, no surrender or release of pilgrims occurred till June 5.

The Operation ended on June 8. However, it caused such resentment among the Sikhs that it led to the assassination of Indira Gandhi that very year at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards.