Amritsar raid: Government response

The government has said that British military advice had 'limited impact' in Amritsar raid by the Indian authorities in 1984.

Amritsar raid report: reaction from the Midlands

Sikhs in the East Midlands say they they're disappointed by the findings of a review into claims that Britain helped India plan a raid on a temple that ended in a massacre thirty years ago.

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has admitted military advice was given to the Indian government ahead of the attack, but he said it only had had 'limited impact'. Sikhs say the review was far from comprehensive.

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Government has 'responsibility to address fears and concerns'

The Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, has responded to the government investigation into the 1984 massacre at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, highlighting a responsibility to 'address the widespread fears and concerns' of British Sikh community.

He went on to say that if the Conservative government could provide answers to all of the relevant concerns and questions then 'the opposition will support them'.

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Labour: 'Serious questions' will still be asked on Amritsar

Labour's Douglas Alexander has responded to the government investigation into the 1984 massacre at the Golden Tempe in Amritsar, stating "serious questions will continue to be asked."

PA Wire/PA Archive
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander Credit: PA Wire/PA Archive

The shadow foreign secretary Alexander said Labour welcomes what light the Cabinet Secretary's report sheds on the allegations of British involvement in 'Operation Blue Star', but certain elements remain still remain unclear.

"It remains unclear, for example, why the Government has today chosen to publish Mrs Gandhi's letter to Mrs Thatcher, but not Mrs Thatcher's letter to Mrs Gandhi," he said.

"The pain and suffering still felt by many about the tragic events of 1984 places a particular duty on the Government to provide what answers it can to address very genuine concerns," he added.

Leicestershire Sikh Alliance meets with Leicester MP

Kartar Singh met with Jon Ashworth MP today Credit: ITV News Central

Leicestershire Sikh Alliance spokesman, Kartar Singh, met with Jon Ashworth MP before the House of Commons statement by William Hague today.

The Foreign Secretary was addressing MP's on British involvement in the 1984 Sri Harmandhir Sahib (Golden Temple) military assault.

Sikhs in the Midlands have been watching the debate closely, and Mr Hague has said he hopes the investigation can provide them with 'reassurance'.

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UK advised on military action in Amritsar as 'last resort'

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that a single British military adviser travelled to India to advise the Indian intelligence service ahead of the Golden Temple raid in 1984 that resulted in hundreds of Sikh fatalities.

The adviser suggested a military operation should only be put into place as a last resort, "when all attempts of negotiation had failed, it recommending including in any operation an element of surprise and the use of helicopter," he said.

Foreign Secretary William Hague address MPs in the House of Commons
Foreign Secretary William Hague address MPs in the House of Commons. Credit: PA Wire

"This military advice was not repeated. The cabinet secretary found no evidence that any other form of UK assistance, such as equipment or training, was given to the Indian authorities," he said.

"The nature of the UK's assistance was purely advisory," he added.

The investigation was ordered after documents released under the 30-year rule suggested that an SAS officer advised the Indians about how to deal with the Sikh dissidents occupying the site.

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Sikh Federation: Amritsar review too narrowly focused

The chairman of the Sikh Federation wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in which he said he was "hugely disappointed" by the 1984 Amritsar massacre inquiry's "narrow terms".

We are dismayed the terms of the review were only formally made available almost three weeks after the review was announced and only days before an announcement of the results of the review are expected in Parliament.

It appears the review has looked at a narrow period and not covered the period in the latter half of 1984 and may not have addressed some of the concerns raised by UK politicians in the last three weeks, e.g. threat of sanctions by India against the UK, Germany, Canada and USA towards the end of 1984 for sympathising with Sikhs in the Diaspora.

From the outset you have emphasised the need for transparency, but the significant delay in sharing the terms and that they appear to have been changed for political reasons does not bode well with such assertions and your emphasis on the speed of the review.

– Bhai Amrik Singh, chairman of the Sikh Federation
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