Three Sikhs convicted of attacking Lt Gen KS Brar
Three Sikh extremists, including a woman, were on Wednesday convicted in the UK of carrying out life-threatening attack on Lt Gen (retd) Kuldip Singh Brar, who had led "Operation Blue Star" 28 years ago to flush out pro-Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple.world Updated: Aug 01, 2013 09:26 IST
Three Sikh extremists, including a woman, were on Wednesday convicted in the UK of carrying out life-threatening attack on Lt Gen (retd) Kuldip Singh Brar, who had led "Operation Blue Star" 28 years ago to flush out pro-Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple.
Brar, 78, was attacked as he walked with his wife Meena, in Old Quebec Street, central London, on September 30, 2012.
A jury at London's Southwark Crown Court deliberated for an hour before finding Mandeep Singh Sandhu (34), Dilbag Singh (37) and Harjit Kaur (39) guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Another male suspect, Barjinder Singh Sangha, 33, has already pleaded guilty.
Gen Brar sustained a neck wound in what prosecutors called "a highly premeditated assault" as he was returning to his hotel.
Brar was left with a 12 inch cut running across his neck and jaw and another three inch cut to the jaw.
The victim's role in the Indian Army had "made him a target for Sikh extremist groups", the jury heard.
The Crown Prosecution Service in a statement said the three "were convicted at Southwark Crown Court for grievous bodily harm on retired Indian Army officer, Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, aged 78. The attack took place whilst he was on holiday in London with his wife on September 30, 2012."
Mari Reid of the Crown Prosecution Service's Counter Terrorism Division, said: "This was a violent and life threatening attack carried out by Sikh extremists on the streets of London's West End. Lieutenant General Brar sustained deep cuts to his face and neck in full view of his wife near their hotel on Old Quebec Street.
"Lieutenant General Brar was targeted in a highly planned and pre-meditated attack. Harjit Kaur was instrumental in carrying out reconnaissance of the area and followed the Brars around London," Reid said.
"The couple was set upon in what was a swift, effective and terrifying ambush; Sandhu and Singh held Lieutenant General Brar down as Sangha slashed at his neck with a knife.
"The group clearly targeted Lieutenant General Brar in revenge for his actions during his military career and today's convictions are another reminder that the UK will not tolerate extremism of any kind," Reid said.
The trio, along with Singh Sangha, will be sentenced in September at a date to be fixed.
Lt Gen Brar was involved in a controversial military operation - Operation Blue Star - against Sikh militants in Amritsar in June 1984.