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Britain says it advised India on 1984 Golden Temple attack

Published on Feb 4, 2014 9:00 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday an official investigation had shown Britain did advise India on planning a deadly attack against Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple at Amritsar in 1984, but said its advice had limited impact.

Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a review into the matter last month after newly released official papers suggested that Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister, had sent an officer from the elite SAS special air service to advise the Indians on the raid.

“The nature of the UK’s assistance was purely advisory, limited and provided to the Indian government at an early stage,” Mr Hague told parliament. “It had limited impact on the tragic events that unfolded at the temple three months later.”

There had been no link between the provision of this advice and British defence sales to India, Mr Hague added, and there was no record of Britain receiving advance notice of the attack.

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