Cracking down on the perpetrators of the "appalling" attack on Lt Gen Kuldip Singh Brar (retd) here, the Scotland Yard on Friday arrested eight more people, taking to 12 the number of those arrested for the attempted murder of the Operation Bluestar commander. Among those arrested in connection with last Sunday's attack on 78-year-old Brar in Old Quebec Street near Oxford Street were two women, but the Metropolitan Police Service did not disclose identities.
The arrests came came as Britain's foreign office minister in charge of India, Hugo Swire, called the attack on Brar unacceptable and appalling: "It (the attack on Brar) is of great concern to the United Kingdom. We don't want these people here exporting their terrorist views because they represent a real threat to people in the UK apart from anything else."
He added, "It is regarded as being as unacceptable and despicable as people in India do. These things are taken very seriously by this government. General Brar was appallingly, appallingly attacked. It would be wrong for me to comment (further) till we know who the perpetrators are."
Meanwhile, three other people were arrested on immigration violation charges from the same address where some of the suspects were held.
Giving details, the police said a 42-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman were arrested at a residential address in Hillingdon borough. The man was held on suspicion of assisting an offender and the woman was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. A further three men, aged 42, 37 and 30 respectively, were arrested after a short while on the street on Queensdale Road, in Kensington and Chelsea borough, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Another three, aged 32, 31 and 20 respectively, were held at a residential address in Holland Park after a few hours. Two of them were arrested on conspiracy to murder while the third one was held on suspicion of assisting an offender.
The arrests came a day after officers took into custody three men and one woman on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.
Searches are being carried out at a residential address in South Shields, a residential address in Birmingham and two residential addresses in London.
Brar, who had led Operation Bluestar in 1984 to flush out pro-Khalistan militants from Amritsar's Sikh shrine the Golden Temple, was on a private visit here when he was attacked by four men while he was returning to his hotel with his wife. He suffered a wound on his neck and cheek but his wife was not injured in the attack.
The four men who attacked Brar were described as being of Asian appearance, all with long beards, and were wearing dark clothes.
Brar was treated at a London hospital and has since returned to India.