Sikh leaders slam Amritsar report as 'narrow' and demand apology from British government

The Golden Temple of Amritsar. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Britain sent a single military official to speak to the Indian government before the Golden Temple raid in 1984 and all of his advise was ignored according to a report in to the massacre.

However there has been anger within the Sikh community at the report's findings. A Sikh religious leader in India has demanded an apology from the British government .

Manjit Singh says that Britain is proud of its human rights record but that the incident was a "murder of human rights."

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".

David Cameron said the investigation by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood found there was "absolutely no evidence" of UK government involvement in the raid on the Golden Temple complex at Amritsar.

Papers released under the 30-year-rule revealed Margaret Thatcher's government agreed to a request from Indira Gandhi's administration to send a military adviser - with the documents indicating that an SAS officer had been sent.

The revelation prompted Mr Cameron to launch an investigation into whether the Thatcher government had been involved in Operation Blue Star, the Indian military raid which left up to 3,000 dead in June 1984.

Foreign Secretary William Hague told the Commons that a British adviser travelled to India in February 1984, but his recommendation for a surprise assault using helicopters was not followed in the bloody raid.

In June that year the Indian army launched Operation Blue Star, which, according to official figures, resulted in 575 deaths. But Mr Hague said other reports suggested "as many as 3,000 people were killed, including pilgrims caught in the crossfire".

A pilgrim slowly makes his way to the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Operation Blue Star was a ground assault, without the element of surprise or helicopter-borne troops.

Further documents disclosed as part of Sir Jeremy's investigation reveal that the British adviser was told that the Indians "should not be able to pin any blame on us" if their operation went wrong.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said "serious questions" remained: "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."