Free Press Journal

No question of Britain’s help in Operation Bluestar: ex-BSF DG


New Delhi: A retired top paramilitary commander, who had led his troops during Operation Bluestar against militants in the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, today rejected reports that Britain had helped India in planning and executing the action.

“I have seen the reports in this regard emerging recently. But I can say it with confidence that the UK did not help us in any way. Mrs Indira Gandhi was a very proud person…she will not beg for anything from anyone leave aside this operation.

“She was a Prime Minister who had a heart of steel. She could overcome any crisis. There is absolutely no question of anyone asking for help from the UK for this task,” retired chief of the Border Security Force (BSF) Birbal Nath told PTI.

Nath, who retired as BSF DG in September 1984, was part of the planning of the June 1984 operation and instrumental in choosing an appropriate contingent of the force which was suppossed to help the Army in the Bluestar Operation.

The ex-DG said Indian forces and the Army were capable of undertaking the operation by themselves and it was totally “their” operation.

“India never asked for help from anyone in Bluestar and this is a matter of record,” the 87-year-old ex-DG of the     Recent reports suggested that declassified documents in the UK indicated that Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) officials had been dispatched to help India in the planning on the raid of the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out militants from the shrine, an operation that left more than 1,000 people dead.

The documents being referenced were released by the National Archives in London under the 30-year declassification rule as part of a series over the New Year.

The documents brought out that Britain’s Margaret Thatcher government had sent an SAS officer to India to help advise Gandhi in planning the Bluestar Operation.

Following this, British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an investigation into the issue.