Indira sought Maggie's help for Bluestar

Indira sought Maggie's help for Bluestar

A British MP and a Sikh member of the House of Lords on Tuesday claimed top secret documents suggested that prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s government helped Indira Gandhi plan the storming of the Golden Temple in 1984 to flush out militants from it, an operation that left more than 1,000 people dead.

Labour lawmaker from West Bromwich East Tom Watson and Lord Indarjit Singh said the documents, released under Britain’s 30-year rule, included “papers from Mrs Thatcher authorising the SAS (Special Air Service) to collude with the Indian government on the planning on the raid of the Golden Temple”.

The government apparently “held back” some more documents. “I don’t think that’s going to wash”, Watson told BBC Asian Network.

“I think British Sikhs and all those concerned about human rights will want to know exactly the extent of Britain’s collusion with this episode, and will expect some answers from the Foreign Secretary,” he said.

On his website, Watson referred to documents, made public by the organisation “Stop Deportations.” The organisation said the documents were among a series of letters released at the New Year by the National Archives in London.

Lord Singh, also the director of the Network of Sikh Organisations in the UK, now wants the government to reveal the extent of its involvement in both Houses of Parliament.
 The controversy has led British Prime Minister David Cameron to direct his Cabinet Secretary to establish the facts. “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,” said a government spokesperson.

India to seek details from UK govt

India said on Tuesday that it would ask UK government for details about the purported revelations that the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had clandestinely helped her Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi’s Government to plan the “Operation Bluestar,” reports DHNS from New Delhi.

“We will now take it up with our UK counterpart and seek information from them. I have nothing further to say because no facts have been shared with us,” said official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin.

The BJP also asked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government to come out with the ‘facts’ on the Operation Bluestar.  This would enable the people of India to conclude whether the operation as a strategic miscalculation,”  Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

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