HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Op Bluestar: Delhi Sikh leaders seek UK apology

Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times  London, March 22, 2014
First Published: 19:37 IST(22/3/2014) | Last Updated: 19:28 IST(26/3/2014)

A three-member delegation of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has demanded an apology from Prime Minister David Cameron for Britain's role in the build-up to the 1984 Operation Bluestar in Amritsar.


The delegation led by DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK met Giles Thompson, head of South Asia affairs in the British foreign office, on Friday and delivered a letter to Cameron, seeking the apology.

GK said after the meeting that besides the apology, the delegation also demanded an inquiry by a joint commission comprising judicial officers of both countries and representatives of the Sikh community.

He said Thompson had assured the delegation that the apology demand would be conveyed to the PM and a decision taken at the highest level. The letter referred to the recently declassified British documents that suggested that in February 1984, India had sought and the-then Margaret Thatcher government in the UK had agreed to extend military advice to deal with the difficult situation in the Golden Temple Complex at Amritsar.

The delegation also sought the return of the Sikh artefacts and scriptures kept in various British museums, or suggested placing them under one roof in a London gallery. "The suggestion was well received and we were assured that it would be passed on to the relevant ministry," said GK.

The delegation also discussed plans for cultural and educational exchange between British and the DSGMC institutions, besides the welfare of nearly 10-lakh Sikhs living in the United Kingdom. The welfare of Indians held in detention centres for deportation was also discussed.

DSGMC general secretary and Delhi legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa; and DSGMC's international affairs adviser Puneet Singh Chandhok were present.


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