Operation Bluestar hero trashes talk of UK help

Mumbai: Amid the raging row over claims that Margaret Thatcher’s government had aided India in the Operation Bluestar to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in 1984, Lt Gen (Retd) KS Brar, who led the offensive, on Tuesday said it was planned and executed by Indian military commanders.

“I am quite dumbfounded because the operation was planned and executed by military commanders in India. There is no question…We never saw anyone from UK coming in here and telling us how to plan the operation,” Brar told a TV news channel.

Maintaining that there was no involvement of British agencies in the operation that left over 1000 dead and led to revenge assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he said the authenticity of the documents that have surfaced suggesting England’s assistance should be checked.

“I am not a politician. I don’t know what are the political motives of these letters coming out. I am a straightforward soldier and therefore cannot give any view besides the soldier’s view.

“I conducted the operation and no aid came in. This is the first time I am hearing all this. It is obviously some mischief at some stage or the other. There was no aid given to us, no advice given to us, there was no representative from the UK government who came and met us to help us plan the operation,” the 79-year-old former general said.

A controversy has broken out after a British MP claimed he had seen declassified documents suggesting Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) officials had been dispatched to help India plan the military offensive at the Golden Temple to flush out the militants.

Labour MP Tom Watson and Lord Indarjit Singh had yesterday demanded an explanation from British government after the documents, declassified under Britain’s 30-year rule, said Thatcher had authorised SAS to collude with Indian government to plan the operation.

There was a murderous attack on Brar by a group of Sikhs in London in 2012.

Three Sikh men and a woman were last year convicted of carrying out the revenge attack on Brar and sentenced to undergo imprisonment from 10 and half years to 14 years by a British court.blue540


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