Britain says it had role in 1984 India temple raid – Businessweek

Britain has acknowledged advising the Indian government ahead of its 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, an admission that links the U.K. — India\’s former colonial master — with one of the bloodiest episodes in the subcontinent\’s recent history.

Hamandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib (also known as ...

Hamandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib (also known as the Golden Temple). The holiest shrine in Sikhism located in the city of Amritsar, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament on Tuesday that British military advice was \”purely advisory\” and had only a \”limited impact\” on the operation.

\”A single U.K. military officer provided some advice. But critically, this advice was not followed, and it was a one-off,\” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a video message to the Sikh community in Britain.

Still, the acknowledgement of any link to the deadly attack that killed hundreds if not thousands at Sikhs\’ holy temple will be disturbing to many.

The storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar was one of the most contentious episodes in the Indian government\’s battle against Sikh separatists, whose violent campaign for an independent homeland in the Punjab region smoldered into the 1970s and 80s.

\”It is awkward,\” said Sumit Ganguly, an Indiana University professor and the co-author of a book on Amritsar. \”The evidence that the British government might have provided some assistance in terms of the planning of this event is once again going to stoke old memories, memories that had long been buried.\”

via Britain says it had role in 1984 India temple raid – Businessweek.

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