Sikhs demand answers from UK Government

As 30th anniversary of 1984 Sikh Genocide approaches, British Sikhs demand answers from UK Government

13th January 2014

The Sikh Federation (UK) is demanding answers from the UK Government on its direct involvement in the Indian army assault on the Darbar Sahib Complex (often referred to as the Golden Temple Complex) in Amritsar in June 1984.

This follows disclosure of Top Secret documents released under the ’30-year rule’ that show the Indian authorities sought British advice on the attack on the Golden Temple Complex.

The documents in the public domain show the UK Foreign Office with the support of the Prime Minister’s Office (Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister at the time) responded to the Indian request by sending an SAS officer.

In correspondence between the Foreign Office and Home Office in February 1984 it was pointed out the SAS officer had visited India and ‘drawn up a plan’ which had been approved by Indira Gandhi.

Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said:

‘We are demanding answers to the following key questions from the UK Government.

  • What was the specific advice provided by the Foreign Office and the SAS officer that was ‘approved’ by Indira Gandhi?
  • Did the British Government advice on:
    • the timing of the attack to coincide with one of the most important days in the Sikh calendar when tens of thousands of innocent pilgrims were expected to be at the Darbar Sahib Complex and would be slaughtered?
    • the level of force to be used at the Sikhs’ holiest shrine and the method of attack, using tanks and artillery?
    • the expulsion of the media throughout the Punjab State so human rights atrocities could be perpetrated on the Sikh people across the Sikh homeland?
    • the simultaneous attack on around 125 Sikh Gurdwaras (places of worship) throughout the Punjab State?

‘British Sikhs, the general public and our elected representatives have a right to know the truth. Why would the UK Government at that time advise on the attack on the sacred Darbar Sahib Complex and risk alienating the law-abiding British Sikh community.’

The Sikh Federation (UK) has contacted over 100 MPs, including the All Party Parliamentary Group for UK Sikhs and urged them to table Parliamentary Questions and get to the bottom of the UK government involvement. We have also been in contact with the Special adviser of the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg, who is responsible of the Foreign Office.

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