31 July, 2021

Storm And Lightning

A politically volatile, violent decade comes alive in the candid memoirs of a top police officer

Storm And Lightning

The 1980s and the early ’90s have arguably been the most tumultuous years in India’s modern history. The decade started with Punjab being engulfed by violence, largely fired by radical preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who had ensconced himself in the Golden Temple complex with heavily armed followers. In 1984, then prime minister Indira Gandhi ordered Operation Blue­­star to flush them out, triggering a cataclysmic chain of events, starting with her assassination, the horrific riots in its wake, the killing of Lalit Maken, Arjun Das and Gen A.S. Vaidya. The next decade started with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 by the LTTE for sending the Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka.

Maintaining meticulous reco­rds of these events and the imm­ersive investigations that fol­l­­owed was a young police officer, Amod Kanth, who found himself at the vortex of it all. The IPS officer has now dug into his aide-memoire and written a forthright account, highlighting how political manipulations and terrorism fed on each other,...

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