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Operation Bluestar disclosures: Congress slammed, Badal seeks apology

Posted on Feb 05 2014 | IANS

New Delhi/Chandigarh, Feb 5 : Slamming the Congress over disclosures from Britain on Operation Bluestar, opposition parties Wednesday accused the then Indira Gandhi government of mishandling the situation in 1984 while Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal sought an apology from Britain for secretly assisting India in the operation.

Punjab Chief Minister Badal sought an unconditional apology from the British government for assisting India in the attack on the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, the holiest of the Sikh shrines.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Akali Dal slammed the Congress for seeking help from Britain in the planning of the June 1984 action by the Indian Army to rid the Golden Temple complex of heavily armed militants.

Latest revelations in Britain have made it clear that India sought military advice before the government ordered Operation Bluestar.

BSP chief Mayawati said the Indira Gandhi government should not have taken advice from another country but sorted out the matter itself.

"I feel they should not have taken advice from any other country. There should not have been interference. It would have been better to find a solution within the country through talks," Mayawati told reporters in New Delhi.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague Tuesday confirmed that his country provided advice ahead of the Indian Army's 1984 storming of the Sikh shrine but clarified it had no operational involvement.

BJP vice president Balbir Punj said the government must take the country into confidence about what happened.

"The government of India got in touch with Britain, sought its help in dealing with its own people. After all, all those people in the Golden Temple at the time of Operation Bluestar were our people. They were our flesh and blood. And it was our internal problem. Why do you have to take the help of Britain in dealing with our people. This is really shameful," he said.

Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Operation Bluestar was premeditated.

"It is unfortunate that things were allowed to go out of hand and all this for political gains. This whole thing was premeditated and pre-planned," she told Times Now news channel.

"They chose not to deal with the situation. They allowed arms to enter, allowed things to get to such a pass that they sent in the army and then tried to convey to the country that Sikhs are anti-national and on the basis of it went to fight the next elections," she said.

"It is unfortunate that the prime minister stoops to that level. It goes to show the extent to which the Congress party can go for political gains," she added.

Union minister Farooq Abdullah, however, said countries work together and share information. "There is no country that does not work together," he told Times Now.

He said India was getting information from the US concerning terrorism.

Badal blamed the British government for becoming a party to the attack on the Golden Temple complex.

"Both the national governments were equally guilty for this unpardonable act and the Sikhs would never forgive them for this sin against humanity," he said.

"The British government must tender an unconditional apology for supporting the government of India in this brutal crime in which many innocent people were also killed," Badal said.

Slamming the Congress party for "inflicting a deep wound on the Sikh psyche", the chief minister said there was "hardly any parallel in the entire world history when a national government had sought the help of a foreign nation to attack its own religious shrine".

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