British tribunal to decide; whether to make public UK’s assistance to India on 1984 Op Bluestar

information on Britain's involvement in 1984's Operation Bluestar in India

Amid the debate on rise of Khalistan politics in the west, a British tribunal will rule on a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for classified UK Cabinet Office files.

The files are believed to have information on Britain’s involvement in 1984’s Operation Bluestar in India.

It need be mentioned that a three-day hearing of the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights) will open in London on Tuesday.

This would be to determine if the UK’s Information Commissioner was right to uphold a Cabinet Office decision not to allow the files being made public.

It was informed that the appeal is being handled by KRW Law on behalf of freelance journalist Phil Miller, who has been investigating the exact nature of the then Margaret Thatcher led government’s assistance to the Indian Army operation on Golden Temple in Amritsar.

It was in 2014 that the UK government documents declassified under the 30-year rule to make such material public had revealed that British military advice was given to Indian forces prior to Operation Blue Star.

But Miller, the author of ‘Sacrificing Sikhs: The need for an investigation’ report released last year, says many documents from the incident remain classified.

The tribunal next week will hear evidence from senior civil servants from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The UK Cabinet Office has declined to release the files on the grounds of national security and safeguarding international relations with India.

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