David Cameron (from Facebook)
Thirty years ago, a great tragedy unfolded at the Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Many lives were lost and the scars in the Sikh community still run deep. So when documents came to light a few weeks ago raising the possibility that the then-UK Government was involved in the Indian Army’s operation that June, people were shocked, they were angry, and they rightly wanted answers.
One: around four months before the events, at the request of the Indian Government, a single UK military officer provided some advice. But critically, this advice was not followed, and it was a one-off.
Two: there is absolutely no evidence of UK Government involvement in the operation itself.
This conclusion has been made after a thorough search of some 200 files and over 23,000 documents.
But let me be clear: I want the dialogue between this Government and the Sikh community to continue.
British Sikhs have made – and continue to make – a vital contribution to our national life, from serving in two world wars to running businesses and playing a massive part in our communities today.
I never forget this. I am grateful for it. And I hope the manner in which we have investigated these dreadful events will provide some reassurance to the Sikh community, here in Britain and elsewhere.