Govt. should clarify reports of Britain's aid in Operation Bluestar: Jaitley
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Tuesday asked the UPA government to come out with a clear statement over allegations that former Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Government may have allegedly helped Indira Gandhi plan Operation Bluestar in 1984.
"The publication of the declassified documents today in England, thirty years after the incident, throws a very important light. June 1984 was the month of Operation Bluestar. Many included myself regarded it as a strategic mistake. But today's documents prove that as back as in February 1984, the Government of India was seeking the help of the British government," he said.
"Correspondence between British departments now indicates that their help was being sought, their experts had visited India, and they were in touch with the Government of India. And therefore Britain had a role. Now what exactly this role was, who had sought the help, all these facts have been kept away from the people of India," he added.
Jaitley further asserted that this is a serious issue, while adding that the BJP would demand a probe into this matter, but first the government needs to give answers regarding reports of UK assistance in planning Operation Bluestar.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has directed his Cabinet Secretary to establish the facts behind claims that Thatcher's Government may have given assistance to Indira Gandhi in planning Operation Bluestar in 1984.
Cameron ordered an inquiry into this matter after newly released documents revealed that the Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) officials were supposedly dispatched to help India flush out Sikh militants from the Golden Temple, in which more than 1,000 people were killed.
Labour MP Tom Watson and several Sikh groups had called on the Cameron government for a full probe into this matter.
Operation Blue Star was an Indian military operation, which was ordered by Indira Gandhi in order to remove separatist leader, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers who had taken shelter in the Golden Temple.
Five months after Operation Bluestar, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, in retaliation for the military attack on the holy shrine.
(Posted on 15-01-2014)