The film Maachis is set in the Punjab against the background of Operation Blue Star and the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi
The story takes off on Kripal's anguish over the detention and torture of his bosom friend Jassi, after he was picked up by the police arbitrarily for the alleged murder of an MP in Delhi with which offence he was not even remotely connected. Kripal is engaged to marry Jassi's sister, Veeran.
Haunted by the marks of torture on Jassi's body, inflicted by the police, and the grave injury and injustice to his friend, Kripal leaves home and village rather aimlessly.
He meets Sanatan, a bearer of many grievances against what was happening around him. This leads to meeting a group of youngsters, some of whom were affected by some or the other incident relating to events in the Punjab and the 1984 Delhi riots.
Soon, events unfold which mirror the tragedy that overtook the Punjab.....
(From the official press booklets)