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British sleuths foiled ’85 plot to kill Rajiv

world Updated: Oct 08, 2009 01:25 IST

A plan by Khalistani and Kashmiri militants to assassinate the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to the UK in 1985 was reportedly foiled by Britain’s internal intelligence agency MI5.

“Good intelligence, combined with the arrests of Kashmiri and Sikh extremists, was believed to have frustrated plots to attack Rajiv Gandhi during his state visit,” Cambridge historian Christopher Andrew has said in his book The Defence Of The Realm.

The book, the first official history of MI5, says after Operation Bluestar in June 1984, “Sikh extremism, which suddenly emerged in the UK as a major threat during the summer and autumn of 1984, was put at the top of the list of current terrorist threats in mainland Britain in 1985-86 annual report by Mi5 Director General Tony Duff”.

Gandhi was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber at an election rally in Sriperambudur in Tamil Nadu in May 1991.