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Sikhs urged to boycott No 10 reception due to Amritsar

Sikhs have been urged to boycott their annual reception with the Prime Minister at Downing Street to mark their "disappointment" at the Government's response to the 1984 raid in Amritsar which left 3,000 people dead.

Pilgrims sit at the edge of the moat surrounding the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

David Cameron said there was "absolutely no evidence" of UK government involvement in the raid of the Golden Temple complex following an investigation into the role played by the UK in the massacre.

Lord Indarjit Singh of Wimbledon, from the Network of Sikh Organisations, is calling for Sikhs to snub this evening's event to register their criticism.

The Sikh Federation (UK), meanwhile, is calling for an independent inquiry into the full extent of the UK's involvement, describing Sir Jeremy's review as "limited in scope".


Cameron 'hopes Amritsar investigation reassures Sikhs'

David Cameron has said that he hopes the report in to the Golden Temple raid in 1984 would 'reassure Sikhs'.

In a video message the Prime Minister said: "I hope the manner in which we've investigated these dreadful events will find some reassurance to the Sikh community here in Britain and elsewhere."

Sikh leader: 'British government needs to apologise'

A Sikh religious leader has demanded an apology from the British government for their role in the Golden Temple raid in 1984.Manjit Singh says that Britain is proud of its human rights record but that the incident was a "murder of human rights."

The President of the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee said that, "British government needs to apologise to the community."

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."

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.


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. 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.

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

Hague to detail Amritsar massacre review findings

A government review into whether the SAS was involved in the 1984 Amritsar massacre will be published today amid criticism from Sikh groups that it is too narrowly focused.

Pilgrims sit at the edge of the moat surrounding the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive

Foreign Secretary William Hague is expected to make a statement to MPs setting out the findings.

David Cameron ordered the probe after documents disclosed under the 30-year rule suggested that a British officer helped the Indian authorities with plans to remove Sikh separatists from the city's Golden Temple.