1984 Sikh Genocide December 2016

Thank you for contacting me recently regarding possible UK involvement in the assault on Sri Harmandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) in Amritsar, India in June 1984 and the events surrounding it.

I appreciate the concerns that you raise. The assault on the Golden Temple was a tragedy. The attack and subsequent violence against Sikhs across India led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. I therefore understand the deep concerns of the Sikh community in the UK at any possibility of the British Government's involvement in the attack or subsequent events.

As you know, in 2014 the then Coalition Government asked the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood to investigate this issue. I believe that this was the right decision. However, I believe the issue should have been investigated transparently and the Government should have published all relevant material on the subject at the time.

I welcome the light that Sir Jeremy Heywood's report shed on alleged British involvement in the Amritsar attack in 1984. However, I note that despite the Heywood report, a number of questions remain. In particular, the Cabinet Secretary's report only examined documents from December 1983 to June 1984. As you know, documents released this year include a note discussing the possibility of UK military involvement in July 1984, a month after the assault on the Golden Temple.

The Government has stated that it has found nothing to substantiate the Sikh Federation UK's concerns in the recently released files. However, I believe it has a responsibility to address the widespread concerns and fears of British Sikhs over potential UK involvement in the operation at the Golden Temple and subsequent events. It is disappointing that it did not examine whether there was a need for a full inquiry covering a longer period back in 2014.

I can assure you that I will continue to monitor this issue. Thank you once again for contacting me and for sharing your views.