A Wolverhampton MP has pressed David Cameron to order full disclosure of all UK Government information relating to any UK involvement in Operation Blue Star to storm the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984.
Pat McFadden MP, who represents thousands of Sikh constituents in Wolverhampton, said the events of 1984 had left a legacy of “grief and pain” because thousands of innocent Sikhs lost their lives.
The move follows the release of documents earlier this week which appear to show that the Indian Government sought advice from the UK in advance of the storming of the Temple, in which hundreds lost their lives.
The full exchange between Mr McFadden and the Prime Minister is set out below:
Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) (Lab):
The Prime Minister will be aware of the grave concern among British Sikhs about the reports in recent days of UK involvement in Operation Blue Star to storm the Golden Temple. He will also be aware that the broader events of 1984 in India resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Sikhs and that this has left lasting grief and pain in the Sikh community here in the UK and around the world. This is an open wound, which will not heal until the full truth is told. So, on the process that the Prime Minister has set up, will he ensure that there is full disclosure of all Government papers and information from that time and that there is also, following that, a proper statement in the House, where Ministers can be questioned about this?
The Prime Minister:
I agree with the right hon. Gentleman about the deep scars that this event left and the incredibly strong feelings that exist to this day. As I say, anyone who visits the Golden Temple at Amritsar and sees what an extraordinary place of peace and tranquillity it is and what an important site it is for the Sikh religion knows how powerful this point is. We will make sure that the inquiry is held properly and its findings will be made public, which is vitally important. In the end no one should take away the responsibility for these events from the people who are properly responsible for them, and I am sure that the inquiry will find that. In terms of making a statement and revealing this information and the findings to the House, I will listen carefully to what he says, but a statement might well be the right approach.
Conservative Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West Paul Uppal MP also asked a question:
Had two questions to the Leader of the house - first one on Amritsar, second on the closure of Central Baths.
Labour's Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) has also demanded a quick inquiry and a statement from Mr Hague over the revelations found in the papers, while party colleague Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) backed Shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle's call for full disclosure.