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Disclosure of British involvement in 1984 attack, with refusal to tender apology agitates Sikhs

February 5, 2014 | By

Amritsar/ Jalandhar (February 05, 2014): Sikhs across the globe are agitated following the UK government’s admission on February 04 that it advised the India in 1984 on carrying out the armed attack on Darbar Sahib. Various Sikh bodies and jathedar of the Akal Takht have sought unconditional apology from the UK government.

It may be recalled that a report by Cabinet Secretary of UK government was released yesterday. British Foreign Secretary William Hague also made a statement in the Parliament but refused to offer any apology on the behalf of UK government.

William Hague maintained that the then British PM Margret Thatcher’s government had limited itself in purely advising its Indian counterpart and that too at an early stage of operation. “It had limited impact on the tragic events that unfolded at the temple three months later,” said the report quoting Hague.

Giani Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib said: [t]his is most shameful for UK government since it has now admitted having advised the Indian government on killing of innocent devotees. Its head should tender unconditional apology.

Avtar Singh Makkar, president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), said, “It is condemnable that world’s known democracy had advised Indian government on attacking the Darbar Sahib with lethal weapons.”

According to Times of India (TOI): Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Manjit Singh GK said, “Besides tendering apology, the UK government should provide details of advice given by it to the then Indian government for carrying out the attack on the Darbar Sahib.”

Damdami Taksal head Baba Harnam Singh Dhumma said at least UK showed the courage to admit its role in the Operation Bluestar. “An unconditional apology by the UK Prime Minister will help soothe the hurt feelings of Sikhs,” he said.

In a statement sent to the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) Dal Khalsa’s spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said, “Hundreds of innocent pilgrims were killed during the assault. UK government will have to share its responsibility in the killings of innocent Sikhs.”

Founder president Sikh Foundation, Switzerland, Karan Singh said, “The admission by UK government means that it was co-partner in the killing of Sikhs”. Demanding apology would not serve the purpose or put balm on the wounds of Sikhs but it would at least make the international community aware of UK’s intentions towards Sikh.

American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee convener Pritpal Singh said: “It is a matter of shame that a sovereign country sought help from UK to attack Sikhs”.

President of Center for Sikh Studies, Switzerland, Gurdeep Singh said, “It is sad that UK government who with the help of Sikhs had conquered half of the world had betrayed the Sikhs”.

“Not only UK but there might be other countries also involved in Operation Bluestar”, he added.

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