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#1984: Thousands of Sikhs gather in London to mark anniversary of Operation Blue Star

Thousands of British Sikhs marched through central London on Sunday in a demonstration to mark the 30th anniversary of the Indian government’s storming of Amritsar’s Golden Temple, the holiest site in Sikkism.

Protestors called for the events that followed immediately after the raid as a genocide.

The Indian army’s Operation Blue Star was launched to flush out Sikh separatists who had sought shelter inside the temple.  Hundreds of civilians were killed in the attack.

Days later Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards sparking widespread rioting which resulted in thousands of Sikh deaths, especially in the capital Delhi.

Crowds from all over the UK gathered at Hyde Park to lend their support to the demonstration.

Their anger has recently been exacerbated by revelations that the British government may have lent military expertise to Mrs Gandhi to plan the raid.

Newly de-classified documents suggest that an officer of the UK’s elite Special Air Service met with Indian army officers ahead of the attack.

In February, an investigation by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood found the advice had been “limited”.

While the march in London was peaceful, police are reportedly investigating an alleged desecration of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Leicester, which is home to a large Sikh community.

“Never forget 84” and “We want justice #84” have been sprayed on the base of the statue in the city’s famous Golden Mile.



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