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India to ask UK for details of claims of help during Operation Bluestar

CNN-IBN
Jan 14, 2014 at 08:08pm IST

New Delhi: A Sikh member of the House of Lords in London has claimed that recently released top secret documents suggest former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher's government helped her the then Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi plan the storming of the Golden Temple in 1984 to flush out terrorists holed up inside.

The recently declassified documents indicate that Thatcher sent Britain's Special Air Service (SAS) officers to help India plan the raid on the shrine in February 1984. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin has now said that the Indian government will be taking up the issue with the British government.

ALSO SEE British PM orders probe into Thatcher's link with Operation Bluestar

"We will now take it up with our UK counterpart and seek information from them. I have nothing further to say because these are reports purely in media and no facts have been shared with us," he said.

Meanwhile, politics has begun over the issue, with Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley demanding a statement from the Indian government.

ALSO SEE Thatcher colluded with Indira for Operation Bluestar, claims Labour MP

"Documents prove that government of India was seeking help of Britain. Their experts visited India and therefore Britain had the role. The Indian government should come with clear statement on this issue. It is too serious. We will demand a probe but before that the government needs to give answers," Jaitley said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has also directed his Cabinet to investigate the claims.

He has asked his Cabinet Secretary to establish the facts behind claims that Thatcher's government may have helped Indira Gandhi plan Operation Bluestar in 1984. Labour MP Tom Watson and Lord Indarjit Singh had demanded an explanation after recently declassified documents indicated that SAS officials had been dispatched to help India on the planning on the raid of the Golden Temple to flush out terrorists from the shrine, an operation left more than 1,000 people dead.

"These events led to a tragic loss of life and we understand the very legitimate concerns that these papers will raise. The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Secretary to look into this case urgently and establish the facts," a UK government spokesperson said in a statement issued on Monday night.

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