I doubt Thatcher played a role in Operation Bluestar: Mark Tully | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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I doubt Thatcher played a role in Operation Bluestar: Mark Tully

chandigarh Updated: Jan 14, 2014 19:00 IST

Former BBC bureau chief and author of 'Amritsar: Mrs. Gandhi's Last Battle' Mark Tully on Tuesday said he did not think former Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher played any role in "Operation Bluestar", which took place 30 years ago.

"As far as I know, there was no role, and these reports are not confirmed yet. There is just one MP who claimed it, so, it cannot be taken as a fact," said Tully.

"Also, there are a few reasons because of which I am doubtful about this. Firstly, at that time, the relations between Britain and India were very bad. The Indian government was dissatisfied with the kind of cooperation they got from the British Police in dealing with members of the Khalistan movement," he said.

"When I wrote my book on Amritsar, I consulted the British military attach at that time. He said that in all of his time in India, he spent a lot of time trying to persuade the Indian government to make use of the experience that the British had with a similar movement in Northern Ireland, but he got nowhere with it," he added.

He said it was not planned as a commando movement, and the SAS are commandos, and very soon, Operation Bluestar turned into a full-scaled infantry operation with tanks, and that it would be the last sort of thing the SAS would be involved in.

He added that if British intelligence officers were involved in it, they did a very bad job, as the one of the main reasons for the failure of Operation Bluestar was a total failure of intelligence.