Sikh Federation members are campaigning the British government to release documents related to the Golden Temple military operation undertaken by the Indian government. The files allegedly hold details of the UK’s involvement in the operation. The military operation resulted in the killing of hundreds of people. Campaigners think the documents will bring to light a much deeper level of cooperation between Indian and British governments during the 1984 military assault.
The Sikh Federation has initiated an appeal to the information tribunal and has been granted a hearing in 2017. The objective of this action is to release files in accordance with freedom of information laws. All previous attempts to elicit information was unsuccessful. According to Davinder Singh of Sikh Federation, “The public has a right to know the truth about what happened 30 years ago. We believe these files are being held back – not for security reasons but for political reasons that would prove embarrassing to the Conservative party, since it was Margaret Thatcher and her discussions with the Indian regime.”
The tragedy unfolded after the Golden Temple was stormed by the Indian Army. Sikh separatists were holed up within the temple at that time. There was a rumor that an SAS officer was involved in the planning of the operation. A previous inquiry by P.M> David Cameron discovered a note to that respect, saying a request was made by India for advice on removal of the Sikh extremist. “Around four months before the event, at the request of the Indian government, a single UK military officer provided some advice. But, critically, this advice was not followed, and it was a one-off. There is absolutely no evidence of UK government involvement in the operation itself,” Cameron reported.
The Sikh Federation says “vital new documents have been removed from the National Archives,” which prompted a thorough investigation in the the claims. A spokesperon from the Foreign Office explained the files had simply been “borrowed” to investigate the concerns of the Sikh Federation.
The Indian government says the death toll from the Golden Temple assault, called “Operation Blue Star” is 400. Sikh groups say the number is actually in the thousands of people.