WSO Calls for Inquiry Into British Role in 1984 Amritsar Attack

Ottawa (January 14, 2014):  The Sikh community across the world has been shocked by reports that the British government under then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may have provided assistance to the Indian Government in orchestrating the brutal attack on the Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) complex in June 1984. 

Top secret documents recently released by the British Government under the 30 year rule appear to show that the Thatcher government authorised the Special Air Service (SAS) to assist the Indian government in planning the attack on the Sri Darbar Sahib as early as February 1984.

 If true, this disclosure would contradict the Indian government’s claim that the 1984 assault was not a pre-planned operation.  Sikhs have long asserted that the Indian government deliberately chose to storm the Sri Darbar Sahib complex on the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan Dev, when officials knew that thousands of innocent pilgrims would be in attendance.  Independent reports have confirmed that thousands of civilians were killed in the bloody onslaught at the Sri Darbar Sahib complex and 38 other historical Sikh Gurdwaras in Punjab and neighboring states. <--break->

WSO Senior Policy Advisor Gian Singh Sandhu said, “the Sikh community is shocked and disappointed by these recent revelations.  More questions have been raised than answers.  Although we commend British Prime Minister David Cameron for acting quickly to order an urgent investigation into the British government’s role in the 1984 attack, we believe that a full parliamentary inquiry is warranted. ”

WSO President Dr. Amritpal Singh Shergill noted, “this year marks the 30th anniversary of the orchestrated attack on Sri Darbar Sahib and 38 other historical Sikh gurdwaras, in which thousands of innocent children, women and men lost their lives.  Under an unprecedented news blackout, the Indian government waged its indiscriminate attack, killing thousands of innocent Sikhs who were in attendance at places of worship throughout Punjab.  Tragically, most of the western world turned a blind eye and India has never been brought to task for this horrific act of violence and desecration.  To learn that Britain may have assisted in the planning of the attack is shocking and profoundly disappointing. We hope that Britain will now do the right thing and assist the Sikh community in finding the answers so that we can heal and move forward.”

The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.


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