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Britain to investigate possible role in Indian Golden Temple attack

Published on Jan 14, 2014 8:56 PM
 
Indian Sikh devotees watch fireworks as they pay their respects at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Jan 7, 2014. Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an investigation into official papers which suggest the British government of Mrs Margaret Thatcher helped India plan an attack against Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple at Amritsar in 1984. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an investigation into official papers which suggest the British government of Mrs Margaret Thatcher helped India plan an attack against Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple at Amritsar in 1984.

The attack on Sikhism's holiest shrine angered Sikhs around the world who accused the Indian army of desecration. The death toll remains disputed, with the Indian authorities putting it in the hundreds and Sikh groups in the thousands.

The assault triggered the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered the attack, when two Sikh bodyguards killed her in revenge several months later.

Recently released British government papers from the time, publicised by Mr Tom Watson, an opposition Labour party lawmaker, suggest Mrs Thatcher responded positively to an Indian government request for advice on planning the attack and sent an officer from the elite SAS special air service to help draw up a plan.

 
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