The Sikh Reference Library was reduced to ashes when a nation state attacked a symbol of faith in Amritsar back in June, 1984. One of the greatest losses was destruction of historical records of Sikh community. The library was ransacked by Indian Army before it was burnt down.
It con­tained thou­sands of rare books, por­traits and man­u­scripts, many of them bear­ing sig­na­tures of Sikh Gu­rus. Among the other damaged articles were 2,500 handwritten birs (holy books) of the Guru Granth Sahib from the times of Guru Arjan Dev and Guru Gobind Singh.
Around 12,613 rare books and manuscripts were lost including a 11th century Gita and 50 miniature paintings. A gold jhallar (wall decoration) and a bunch of gold keys donated to Golden Temple by Maharaja Ranjit Singh were damaged along with 25000 Hukamnamas signed by Gurus.
According to a list prepared by the SGPC, a chandoa (a diamond encrusted piece of cloth hung over Guru Granth Sahib) gifted by the Nizam of Hyderabad to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the early 19th century was charred in the violence. It's cost was Rs 200 crore.
And at what cost was all this destruction carried out by the Indian govt? just to find a letter written by Indira Gandhi to Jernail Singh Bhindranwale.
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