1984 : New declassified papers reveal UK tried to ban Sikh protests

The British government led by then prime minister Margaret Thatcher made several attempts to ban protests by Sikhs in the country following Operation Bluestar in 1984, according to recently declassified documents.

The documents were released after a UK judge had ruled last month that declassifying the Downing Street papers would not damage diplomatic ties with India.

While the papers do not shed any further light on alleged British involvement in the army operation at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, they reflect a preoccupation with not upsetting then Rajiv Gandhi-led government in order to secure lucrative trade deals.

Thatcher’s Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, wanted Scotland Yard to ban protests planned by British Sikh groups, including so-called Republic of Khalistan, because “a Sikh march in present circumstance would carry very serious risks, both for Indo-British relations and for law and order in this country”.

UK Government under Margaret Thatcher who’s Foreign Secretary Gefforey Howe wanted to ban Sikh public protests to please the Indian govt and protect arms trade deals, encouraging the MET Police Commissioner to ignore the civil rights of UK Sikhs by extending bans for Peaceful Sikhs marches.

Posted in: Punjab

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