Has Britain sold out the Sikhs? Part 4/4

Continued from Part 1Part 2 and Part 3

UK 1984 Akal Takht


In conclusion, this report and the following questions was an in depth in looking at ‘British involvement in June 1984.’  It showed that Britain responded to a request for military advice and that one SAS officer travelled to India to give this advice.  A summary of the SAS officers report has been given but as stated in Point 24 of the report “In line with the practice under successive governments we do not release information relating to the intelligence agencies or special forces.”

This is not a review into the mechanics of Operation BlueStar or the surrounding months of June 1984 and the wider events on 1984 which were not looked into.  Some, understandably, will be disappointed.

Considering the questions asked in the HoC,  one can say that the most searching questions came from Conservative MPs. In the HoL there was a lot of respect for this issue, many members stayed seated throughout this discussion and many questions/comments were raised.

Some questions raised post-inquiry of which I’d like to highlight the relevant parts of the statement/report,  will shed light on some answers:

i)                Why the did the review not look at Operation Sundown involving the possible advice and training input of an SAS officer on the kidnapping of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Sri Harmandir Sahib Complex.

Mr Hague stated that “One of the questions raised is whether there could have been British military involvement in subsequent Operations Black Thunder I and II.  From everything that the Cabinet Secretary has seen, having examined hundreds of files—200 files—the answer to that is no.”

He continued and said:

ii)              Why did the review not look at broader events of 1984 such as Operation Woodrose which was designed to crush public protest. Unconfirmed reports say around 100,000 were taken into custody, interrogated, tortured and even killed.  Also, why was there no mention on the events in November 1984

Mr Hague said:  “the Prime Minister asked the Cabinet Secretary to investigate the specific events—whether there had been UK involvement in the specific events leading up to and during Operation Blue Star in June 1984—and the time frame was therefore from the start of what happened at the location in question in December 1983 to the Indian operation in June 1984,”  which I’m assuming was a direct response to the first two documents dated February 1984.

iii)            Whether the disclosure of other documents relating to the Sikhs be made public sooner

Mr Hague said:  “The relevant documents—those that can be published while, as I have said, upholding the publication principles that all British Government have always observed—that relate specifically to Operation Blue Star have been published.  There will of course be the publication over the coming years of many more documents concerning British relations with India at the time.  I certainly do not want to suggest that no more documents will be published that can shed light on relations between Britain and India through the 1980s,”  meaning that future documents may come into light after their 30-year period is over but, as I understand it, “upholding the publication principles that all British Government have always observed” means they cannot publish documents early.

My question to the Sikh nation – what is our long term plan?  We are asking for truth and transparency but what exact questions do we want answered that would satisfy us?  Are we willing to stay open minded? Are we willing to create a proactive relationship with the Government and respective parties or will we forever be anti-government?  There are many questions that we need answering but we need to ask the right people and the right Government.

As a Sikh Nation, we have many different groups with different agendas and political pull, but we should have one realistic goal – To get the British Government to recognize 1984 as Genocide.  We can’t ask (or expect) a review into Operation BlueStar or any other Operation and events in 1984.  We cannot ask for our Government to pass judgement on the past actions of another Government.  But we could ask for this issue to be looked at in terms of the mis-leading official report and the number of casualties to be looked at and for our Government to declare it as Genocide.

In my opinion, the only way we can achieve this is by building up a database of where those who were alive in 1984 can share their stories via video, audio, written statement,  or sworn statements or diaries.  In another 10 years’ time, those who experienced those attacks will no longer be with us and we need to preserve their story, we need to preserve our history and most importantly, we need to have it on record so no-one can dispute what actually happened.


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