Britain says it had advisory role in India's deadly 1984 raid on Golden Temple in Amritsar

The Associated Press

FILE- In this Jan. 1, 2014 file photograph, an Indian Sikh devotee takes a holy dip in the sacred pond at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The British government has admitted it advised India before the deadly 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.Foreign Secretary William Hague told Parliament on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 that British military advice had only a "limited impact" on the operation. (AP Photo/Sanjeev Syal,file)

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Christine Fair, a professor of South Asian security studies at Georgetown University, defended Thatcher, saying it was a shame the Indian government appears to have ignored her government's advice. Britain is home to a significant Sikh population and Fair argued the U.K. would have had a strong interest in trying to shape events.

"If I were Thatcher I would have done the same thing," Fair said.

The reaction in India was less sympathetic — with some expressing anger that the specific British military advice remained under wraps.

Manjeet Singh, a leader of Akali Dal, the Sikh governing party in northern Punjab state said the British government owed "an unconditional apology" irrespective of its role and urged its officials to disclose everything.

"Whatever they have revealed is not full information," he said. "They should come out with all facts."

India's Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said the British "have just shared the documentation and conclusions of their inquiry." He would not immediately comment on the report, saying Indian officials were still reviewing it.



The British report:


Daigle reported from New Delhi. Ashok Sharma in New Delhi and Gregory Katz in London contributed.

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