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British Tribunal’s decision may reveal UK’s role in Operation Bluestar

An ongoing Tribunal in the UK will decide whether to make public classified files that detail British military support given to the Indira Gandhi government and the Indian Army during the 1984 attack on the Golden Temple.   We may soon know new facts about the lead up to Operation Bluestar. A UK tribunal will decide whether or not to release classified files that detail British military support given to the Indira Gandhi government and the Indian Army during the 1984 attack on the Golden Temple. The decision will come within six weeks’ time, after a three-day long session of the tribunal which heard arguments from both the UK Government and independent British journalist Phil Miller, concluded on 8th March. Miller’s research into declassified government files in the National Archives in 2014 revealed the involvement of the Special Air Service (SAS), a special forces unit of the British Army, in the 1984 operation. Miller first came across the files in 2014, after government files were released to the public under the UK’s 30-year rule, which mandates that documents that were deemed to not be sensitive in terms of national security must be made available to the public after a period of 30 years. The findings prompted the then Prime Minister David Cameron to call for a formal inquiry to be led by his Cabinet Office Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood. The Heywood Inquiry subsequently concluded that the UK’s role during the events of 1984 was “purely advisory, limited and provided to the Indian government at an early stage in their planning,” and that it had a “limited impact”. Some Sikh groups within the UK, however, such as the Sikh Federation UK (SFUK), believed that the conclusions reached by the 2014 inquiry were insufficient, and, following the UK Information Commissioner’s decision to not launch a separate inquiry in 2015, have formally started the procedure for a public inquiry last week. “The timing of us submitting the formal request for a public inquiry and the tribunal being held was purely coincidental, and down to a delay on the part of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO),” Dabinderjit Singh, an advisor to the SFUK, told The Lede. “We believe that the Heywood Inquiry’s frames of reference were limited, and deliberately chosen to look at a specific time period in the months running up to Operation Bluestar, to present an official sanitised view of what role the UK government played,” he said. “Phil Miller has subsequently found additional documents in the National archives that show the Indian authorities requesting British support in setting up the National Security Guard, which states on its website that it was modelled in part on the SAS,” Singh added.…