Sikh groups in Leicester have criticised the Whitehall report which clears the British military of any direct involvement in the 1984 Amritsar Massacre. A review into the incident was initiated by David Cameron last month after archive documents suggested that a British officer helped the Indian authorities with plans to remove Sikh separatists from the city’s landmark Golden Temple. On a statement made to British Parliament on February the 4th Foreign Secretary William Hague contests this, instead asserting that an unnamed British official had advised that “a military operation should only be put into effect as a last resort”. These instructions however were not carried out by the soldiers who subsequently launched the raid. Although welcoming the swiftness of the report many Sikhs still call for further investigation believing that important questions have been left unanswered.
Leicester Sikh Alliance member Raj Mann finds the report to be full of “shocking gaps and shortcomings”. His concerns relate to not only key evidence being destroyed but also of the enquires timeframe which he believes to be “very narrow”. The Amritsar Massacre, termed Operation Blue Star, was an Indian military operation that took place between the 3rd and 8th of June 1984. There has been a dispute into the number of deaths with Sikhs believing that thousands were killed in both the raid and years of violence that ensued afterwards. Fellow Sikh Alliance member Surinder Pal Singh Rai claims that Sikhs have always been willing to contribute to the community and that they consider themselves a key part of Britain.