The Hindu – Labour Party promises probe into in Britain’s role Operation Blue Star

Foreign Office had allegedly removed files referring to the possible involvement of a Special Air Services unit of the British Army

Vidya Ram

London, 17 May 2017. The Labour Party has committed to an independent inquiry into the role of Britain in Operation Blue Star should it be elected on June 8. The commitment is briefly referenced in the manifesto’s section on diplomacy.

A poster from the Sikh Federation UK, published ahead of the manifesto includes a quote from Labour’s deputy leader, expressing the “shock” of many Sikhs in the country about alleged British involvement in the operation.

Hidden files

“That information was revealed when some government documents were released but other documents still remain hidden and after a long campaign to force the authorities to publish them, the full truth about the role played by the UK has still not been established.”

Last year, the Sikh Federation alleged that the Foreign Office had removed files referring to the possible involvement of a Special Air Services unit of the British Army following India’s request for military assistance “in the setting up of a National Guard for internal security duties” during the military operation at Golden Temple in June 1984.

At the time Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office maintained that some files had been “borrowed” and would be returned to the files in full shortly.

“David Cameron’s previous inquiry failed to reveal the full facts and we now learn that vital new documents relating to the massacre have been removed from the National Archives by ministers,” Mr. Watson said last year, referring to a 2014 inquiry into British involvement in the operation ordered by the former Prime Minister following the release of recently declassified documents.

“The report concludes that the nature of the U.K.’s assistance was purely advisory, limited and provided to the Indian government at an early stage in their planning,” William Hague, then U.K. Foreign Secretary, had told the House of Commons in February 2014.


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