Sikhs fume after new documents surface in UK on Operation Bluestar

goldenCHANDIGRAH : The claims by a Sikh member of the House of Lords in London that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher helped in Operation Bluestar has created furore in Punjab and also within the Sikh community in the United Kingdom. British MP Indarjit Singh had demanded an explanation after recently declassified documents indicated that Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) officials had been dispatched to help India on the planning on the raid of the Golden Temple to flush out militants from the shrine, an operation that left more than 1,000 people dead.
Lt Gen Brar who headed Operation Bluestar has rubbished the claims that British special forces were involved in planning the attack.
“Aghast is that such a thing is coming out now after thirty years. As an Army man let me assure you that all the plans and arrangements were made and executed by the military commanders of the Indian Army. There is no question of UK Govt having to advise us or send a person to advise us. Obviously there has to be some motive. It is malicious and they are coming close to the elections. So something or the other must come up to get the Sikhs to go against the Congress and I personally feel that these documents are not true,” he said.
The Indian government has assured that it would ask Britain for details into the claims of help during Operation Bluestar. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the Indian government will be taking up the issue with the British government. “We will now take it up with our UK counterpart and seek information from them. I have nothing further to say because these are reports purely in media and no facts have been shared with us,” he said.
British PM David Cameron, meanwhile, has asked his Cabinet Secretary to establish the facts behind claims that Thatcher’s government may have helped Indira Gandhi plan Operation Bluestar in 1984. “These events led to a tragic loss of life and we understand the very legitimate concerns that these papers will raise. The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Secretary to look into this case urgently and establish the facts,” a UK government spokesperson said in a statement issued on Monday night.

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