12 held for attack on Lt. Gen. (retd) K.S. Brar
London, Oct 5, 2012
Twelve people have so far been arrested for an attempt on the life of Lt. Gen. (retd) K.S. Brar, who led an Indian Army operation into the Golden Temple in Punjab in 1984, police said Friday.
The Counter Terrorism Command of London Metropolitan Police held eight people Friday, including a 38-year-old woman, for the Sep 30 attack on 78-year-old Brar.
Earlier, a 33-year-old man and a woman were arrested in Wolverhampton Thursday. A third person, a 34-year-old man, was held in West Bromwich. The fourth person nabbed is a 25-year-old man.
All the accused are currently lodged in police stations in central London and west London.
The police are also carrying out searches in different residential addresses in South Shields, Birmigham and London for more suspects, appealing to the public for information.
Brar, who was on the hit-list of Sikh militant groups, was on a private visit to London when he was attacked by four men "wearing dark clothing and long black jackets".
The retired general and his wife Meena returned to India Oct 3.................IANS...NRIpress.com
Punjab Congress knocks at Shinde's door on militancy
New Delhi, Oct 5, 2012:
Following an assassination attempt in London on Lt.Gen. (retd) K.S.Brar for the 1984 Operation Bluestar, the Congress party's Punjab unit Friday knocked at the door of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on the "situation" prevailing in the once militancy-hit state.
Sunil Jakhar, Congress legislature party (CLP) leader in Punjab assembly, met Shinde at the home ministry at North Block here earlier in the day and apprised him of the situation in the state.
In a memorandum, Jakhar talked of militant elements in the state rearing their heads again "following the present Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government returning to power earlier this year."
Jakhar told IANS by phone that he also informed the union home minister that the SAD government in the state was withdrawing or downgrading security cover for all those who were facing a threat from militants in the state.
"The minister assured us that he will speak to the union home secretary on the issue," he added.
Suspected Khalistani activitists attacked Lt. Gen.(retd) Kuldip Singh Brar in London earlier last weekend. Brar had led a military force that stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984 under Operation Bluestar that was carried out to flush out militants holed up in the holiest of the Sikh shrines.
Brar suffered knife wounds and was hospitalised. He returned to India a couple of days ago, amidst the review of his security cover by the union government and the army, which guards him.
Jakhar said his party would now launch a massive protest against the SAD government for going soft on the militant elements in the state. This, he claimed, were acting as an encouragement to the separatist forces to revive their movement.
The state Congress move comes at a time when the union home ministry has decided to send a team to Punjab to check out on the construction of a memorial for those militants who died in Operation Bluestar inside the Golden Temple complex.
The home ministry's decision comes in the wake of senior officers in the intelligence and security apparatuses of the country expressing serious apprehensions about the impact and influence such a memorial for militants inside the Sikh shrine would have on the community's psyche.........IANS...NRIpress.com
Bluestar back in focus after attack on Brar
By Jaideep Sarin, Oct 4 2012
Chandigarh, Oct 4 (IANS) Is the Khalistan movement still alive? Should a memorial have been built at the Golden Temple in memory of the militants who died during Operation Bluestar in 1984? The troubling questions were back with the assassination attempt in London on Lt. Gen. (retd) K.S. Brar, who led the Indian Army operation into the Golden Temple 28 years ago.
Even though London's Metropolitan Police have not confirmed the identity of the four attackers with "long black beards", Brar's statement that the attack was the handiwork of Khalistani activists has brought the focus back on Punjab.
The state saw a blood-stained phase of Sikh militancy between 1981-1992 as separatist elements resorted to violence to demand Khalistan (land of the pure) - a homeland for Sikhs. Even though the Khalistan movement is nowhere active in the state, certain radical elements and groups have unsuccessfully tried to revive it in the last nearly two decades.
Most of the Punjab-based radical Sikh organisations and Sikh leaders have refrained from commenting on the Brar incident, saying the attackers have not been identified.
"No comments," was the quick response from Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh.
Pressed further, he told IANS: "The London police have not yet identified anyone for the attack. It is not known who has done it. The details are sketchy."
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the mini parliament of Sikh religion, has cautiously refrained from saying anything.
It has also issued a diktat to SGPC members, saying their comments were not the official line of the SGPC.
Following the London attack Sunday evening off Oxford Street, Brar, 78, who gets 'Z' category security in India as he is on the hit-list of Khalistani militants, openly blamed the Punjab government, led by the Akali Dal, for encouraging fringe Khalistani elements by allowing a memorial to be built in June this year for "martyrs" of the 1984 Operation Bluestar. Brar has been opposed to the memorial.
Operation Bluestar was conducted by the army to flush out heavily armed militants from inside the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, 250 km from here. The complex, except for the sanctum sanctorum, suffered heavy damage.
"The motive was not robbery. The motive was assassination. They wanted me dead," Brar told CNN-IBN news channel.
"Had I not fought back, I would not be here speaking to you," said Brar, who had a bandage around his neck and is now back in Mumbai. His wife was also injured in the attack.
Radical Sikh organisations like the Damdami Taksal, Dal Khalsa and pro-Khalistan factions of the Akali Dal had been demanding the memorial for years but the Sikh clergy, led by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, and the SGPC, had ducked the issue for 28 years before giving in.
Kanwarpal Singh blamed Brar for linking the London attack to the raising of the memorial.
"He is trying to become a hero by raising the memorial issue," Kanwarpal Singh said.
Another radical leader, who sought to remain anonymous, said the attack could be a "staged drama".
While the Akali Dal, which indirectly controls the SGPC, had washed its hands off the memorial, saying it has nothing to do with it, its alliance partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had opposed the memorial.
"There are certain fringe elements still in Britain, Canada and the US who try to keep the Khalistan issue alive. The London attack could be linked to that. Punjab Police officers who are on the hit list, take precautions when travelling to these countries," a senior police officer told IANS.
Punjab government spokesperson Harcharan Bains told reporters here: "The incident happened in London. Punjab has nothing to do with it."
Lt Gen Brar returns to India
Mumbai, Oct 3, 2012
Lt Gen (retd) K.S. Brar, who was attacked in London earlier this week, returned to Mumbai Wednesday with his wife Meena.
Brar, who led the army operation into the Golden Temple in June 1984, was injured after he was stabbed in London Sunday night. He was on a private visit.
He refused to answer questions posed by media persons at the airport here. He was escorted to his car amid tight security.
Brar's wife Meena said they were happy to be back home and appreciated the concern.
Later, in an interview to a national news channel, Brar said he was "extremely sad and distraught that the incident took place after so many years of Operation Blue Star".
He lamented the fact that the anger of some of the radical Sikhs seems to continue unabated.
He said: "We in the army and the defence services have to carry out the call of duty and it is in the interest of the country. I as a Sikh had to carry out my duty and I think we didn't hurt Sikh sentiments to the best of my knowledge. For them now to plan an attack on me and try to assassinate me... The motive now was not robbery, it was assassination."
Brar described how four bearded men attacked him and slashed his back and neck with a knife while his wife screamed for help. He added that he fought back and he lost a lot of blood........IANS...NRIpress.com