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No proof of SAS-Bluestar link: David Cameron

world Updated: Jan 16, 2014 09:21 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday told the House of Commons that there was no evidence so far that SAS was involved in the 1984 Operation Bluestar, and added that the action was planned and carried out by the Indian army.

Responding to questions by two Labour MPs Tom Watson (East Bromwich) and Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) – both consituencies with a large minority of Sikhs – Cameron said during Prime Minister's Questions that he wanted to quickly find out the truth about SAS involvement.

Two documents of February 1984 de-classified and released this month sparked off a furore over suggestions that India had asked, and Britain and agreed to provide, advice from SAS months before Operation Bluestar was launched in June 1984.

Cameron asked MPs to wait for the ongoing inquiry to complete and promised to make it public. He did not want to prejudge the "urgent inquiry" being conducted by Jeremy Haywood, cabinet secretary to establish the facts. "I do not want to prejudge the outcome, but I would note that, so far, it (the inquiry) has not found any evidence to contradict the insistence by senior Indian army commanders responsible at the time that, on the responsibility for this, it was planned and carried out solely by the Indian army," Cameron said.

Cameron recalled his visit to Amritsar in February last year, and said the Golden Temple was a place of peace and tranquillity. He said it was “right” that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had apologised in the Indian parliament for what had happened.

McFadden said Operation Bluestar had left an “open wound” and that British Sikhs were concerned about the recent revelations of SAS collusion. He said the “wound” would not heal until the full truth came out.

In a letter to Foreign Secretary William Hague, Watson asked questions about the revelations: “Was the Cabinet informed? Which ministers took the decision to give military support? How many personnel were involved? Was there a UK military presence in a operational, logistical, observational or advisory capacity during the siege at Amritsar?”