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How much did the British government know about India's terrorist operation blue star?

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It seems to me having read articles and documents that the original operation the British SAS advised was a commando raid operation sundown type of plan but in my analysis when the Dharmi Fauj Singh's defending darbar sahib put up a fierce resistance it lead to most of the Indian special forces commando's getting killed early on in the original alleged British advised SAS plan ......so it went out the window and general brar's and general dyal started to panic clutching at straws what to do next (general brar admits in video interviews he didnt expect such resistance) and therefore ordered more troops and heavy fire power to come in around most probably 3rd June. It is quite clear from correspondence letters the British officials wrote that there was a secret Indian commando team within darbar sahib already around Feb 1984.

An article in the Indian suriya magazine in 1985 alleged a high level R&AW source was dismayed at what his agency was doing by creating another special agency that oversaw and allowed in arm shipments into darbar sahib. It seems quite clear a trap was being set to paint an image the Sikhs there were terrorists and that darbar sahib was some kinda base of terrorism with weapons galore but where did the weapons come from? It was your friendly no morals Indian terrorist R&AW agency the very same terrorist agency that conducted the air india 1985 bombing and blamed it on Sikh separatists in canada.  

The question still arises what exactly did the UK know what was happening to the Sikhs of India before 1984 and after? The very fact that Her Majesty's UK Government actually provided a SAS plan to raid our most holiest shrine no matter what the circumstances were is very disturbing and it seems they knew alot of what went on behind the scenes not just merely observing but actively involving themselves mainly it seems due to trade and other bilateral ties. They have a strong case to answer in our 2% minority populations persecution and genocide in 1984 and we should not forget it.

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Here's an excellent eye opening report released in 2017 by journalist phill miller about the roles and conspiratorial murderous collusion's between margret thatcher and indira gandhi's government in the attack on darbar sahib 1984.


In 2018 they gave newly released classified cabinet files to Journalist Phill Miller after court proceedings and tribunal win, but again they only gave limited access (just 40 pages) of the secret files nothing substantial to what everyone is really waiting for and wanting to know. There is much more yet that needs to be released particularly those that deal with British military advice and assistance.



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Released Op Blue Star Files Reveal UK May Have Mixed Business and Military Help

From the cache of documents released, it is clear that Britain was pursuing India for several trade and arms deals and made some concessions. What remains unclear is whether these concessions included extending an invisible hand to the military operations in Amritsar.

Released Op Blue Star Files Reveal UK May Have Mixed Business and Military Help

The Golden Temple in Amritsar. Credit: Reuters


Journalist Phil Miller, who unearthed evidence of Britain sending an officer to India to advise Indira Gandhi on Operation Blue Star in 1984, soon enough found the declassified file being recalled by the government. After approaching the information tribunal and the courts under the Freedom of Information Act to make those and other relevant documents public, the court last month ordered certain files to be made public following which 18 documents were released by the UK Cabinet Office – mostly files from the Prime Ministers Office, while the more detailed Cabinet Office files are still classified.

Only 40 pages have been released, mostly internal memos pertaining to foreign aid, trade and security concerns. There is, however, no mention of the UKs involvement in what happened in Amritsar.

The majority of the sensitive papers I wanted to access are still being kept under lock and key. I think many people will be disappointed by the small scale of disclosure in this case after years of legal proceedings, Miller said.

However, the documents do depict the stark contrast in how the British believed India thought about them and how they themselves viewed India. It also shows the effort put in by the British government during the mid-1980s to secure trade deals.

February 1984

In early 1984, the British were concerned by how slowly India was moving to sign trade deals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) was looking at how they could convince India, with whom they had a special relationship”.

In an internal memo to William Harding (deputy under-secretary of state for the Americas and Asia), dated February 28, 1984, R.J. ONeill (assistant under secretary, FCO) tried to explain to his colleagues that Indian politicians did not consider this relationship as important and while British officers felt that India benefitted from colonialisation and so take the credit for Indias post-Independence success, Indians firmly believe they owe Britain nothing and were not obliged to sign trade deals that they did not see as beneficial to them.

The memo highlights how India was a proud country and was convinced that it was a natural leader of the non-aligned movement with a very good nose for a bargain. ONeill was worried that India looked down on Britain as a European country in decline and could easily favour another country and strike similar deals.

ONeill warns FCO that Britain tends to expect from India things we are simply not going to get but must pursue its agenda with good humour and not much sensitivity (turn a blind eye to Indias internal issues).

This sets the tone of the Indo-British relationship just prior to Operation Blue Star where FCO feels India has an upper hand in trade negotiations and Britain, at a disadvantage, must offer India more concessions. Miller and the UK Sikh Federation suspect that the concessions came in the form of military advice (and possibly training and resources) during the time the Golden Temple was seized but this cannot be corroborated as no documents around that period have been released.

June 1985

The importance of Westland deal with India is evident during Rajiv Gandhis visit to the UK in August 1985. Britain was worried that India would sign a similar deal with French and American competitors as Gandhi had recently visited the two countries and got an unusually high-level protocol treatment there.

P.F. Rickett, the private secretary of FCO, wrote to the Prime Ministers Office with concerns that they would have to perhaps go the extra mile to appease Gandhi. As Gandhi had addressed a joint session of Congress in the US (a very high honour), the British were worried that they would be unable to afford him the same as during that time, the UK parliament was in recess.

More so, since the French President had accorded Gandhi five sessions during his five-day visit, the FCO believed that it was imperative that the British prime minister should at least table two sessions with him during his two days in the UK (October 14-15) and other ministers should be available to meet with him and his delegation at short notice.

While UK was also concerned with Rajiv Gandhis security, what was interesting is that they were worried how they could outdo the French who went out of their way to ensure that their security arrangements were not only effective but highly visible”. It was very important to the British that they should not appear to do less than the French and hence it was important to keep Sikh protestors in check so that they did not give the impression that the British police had been indulgent towards Sikh extremists.

In another letter, Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe wanted police to ban Sikh activists from protesting. His private secretary Leonard Appleyard wrote to the Metropolitan police that this will also further intensify the Indian government’s resentment against the UKcontracts which would be potentially at risk from a trade boycott amount to some £5 billion. Post Gandhis visit, the deal for 21 Westland 30s was signed for £65 million as against Britains aid budget.

From the cache of documents released, it is clear that Britain was pursuing India for several trade and arms deals amounting to billions of pounds and believed that the hesitation of the Indian government to close the deal would be difficult without more concessions. What remains unclear is whether these concessions were simply limited to more visible diplomacy and a subtle crackdown on Sikh extremists in the UK or did it also extend as an invisible hand in the military operations in Amritsar? Unless more files are declassified, the answer to this we may never know.


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