Operation Blue Star: UK ‘borrows’ files, Sikh body seeks probe
The UK Foreign Office on Friday admitted to removing from the National Archives a number of files on the India-UK relations in the 1980s, including some related to the Operation Blue Star, prompting a Sikh group to demand an independent investigation into the matter.
The files were released by the National Archives under the 30-year declassification rules earlier this year.
Sikh Federation UK claimed to have found a memo within the files referring to the possibility of the Special Air Services (SAS) unit of the British Army being involved after “an Indian request for military assistance in the setting up of a National Guard for internal security duties” during Operation Blue Star in 1984.
“The UK government considered SAS assistance for the Indian military just weeks after the 1984 Amritsar massacre, a fact omitted from an official review ordered by David Cameron in 2014, fresh evidence obtained by the Sikh Federation (UK) reveals,” a Sikh Federation UK statement said.
It added: “Lawyers have now written to home secretary Amber Rudd, demanding an independent investigation into Britain’s role in one of the darkest periods in Sikh history, after new evidence was found at the UK National Archives.”
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in an apparent revenge attack a few months after the military operation on Golden Temple in June 1984.
The row over how much the British government knew and helped in the incidents 32 years ago threatens to overshadow British Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India next week. Sikh Federation UK, a UK-based Sikh NGO, has accused the government of a “cover-up” and its lawyers from law firm KRW Law have now written to UK home secretary Amber Rudd demanding an “independent investigation”.