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Ex-Army Lt. Gen. Hoon rules out Khalistani attack on Operation Blue Star hero

Chandigarh, Tue, 02 Oct 2012 ANI

Chandigarh, Oct 2 (ANI): Former Indian army official Lieutenant General (Retd.) P.N. Hoon on Tuesday downplayed reports of a Khalistani attack on Lieutenant General (Retd.) K.S. Brar in London, saying the attackers would have achieved their target if it had been a well-planned attempt.

Lieutenant General (Retd.) Hoon pointed out that even the Scotland Yard and the London Police have not given a report on the unpleasing incident yet.

"I don't think this is too planned an attack because if it was too planned an attack then I would have been very sad because they would have really achieved their target. I would not say it is a Khalistani attack unless all these things are investigated and the whole world comes to know what has happened," said Lieutenant General (Retd.) Hoon.

"And, if we are not taking care of our people, I am sure some procedures would have been laid down. If not, it is time that we laid these down," he added.

Lieutenant General (Retd.) Hoon, however, said that security lapses have taken place both on the part of the Indian Government and the British Government.

"I will not give my opinion that it is a Khalistani attack, which is being given. But as far as lapses are concerned, yes lapses have taken place both by the Indian Government as also British Government. If the Indian Government has given information that a Z plus category officer of the rank of Lieutenant General is visiting and he has to be provided security. Was it done? Did our embassy inform the High Commissioner that this has been done?" asked Lieutenant General (Retd.) Hoon.

"If it has been done, I say that security lapse hundred percent.... I will blame the United Kingdom Government. They are responsible and we will not tolerate things like this that our officers or jawans or Indians who go there are either mugged or they are being eliminated because of the bravery that the Indian Army has showed. In case, we have not informed it is a great lapse on our part and we should have some systems laid down," he added.

Lt General (Retd.) Brar, who led the Operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, was attacked and injured in London.

Brar, a Z-category protectee, was stabbed by four men outside a hotel in London. The 78-year-old former Indian Army official was taken to a hospital with minor injury and was discharged after treatment. It was not immediately known who the attackers were.

The incident took place on Old Quebec Street near Hyde Park when he was out with his wife. The couple is in London on a private visit.

No arrests have, however, been made so far in connection with this attack. The Scotland Yard is carrying on with the investigations.

Brar, the retired army officer was involved in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and commanded the Operation Blue Star to flush out pro-Khalistan Sikh militants from the Golden Temple complex.

In 1984, a group of pro-Khalistan Sikh militants, along with the Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, occupied the Golden Temple at Amritsar, and resisted the police who sought to arrest them.

As the law and order situation deteriorated, Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, decided to send in the army to flush the militants out of the temple complex. Brar, along with Lt. General Krishnaswamy Sundarji (then chief of western army command) and Lt. General Ranjit Singh Dyal (then chief of staff in the command), planned this operation codenamed Operation Blue Star.

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Brar commanded an infantry battalion, and was in the first batch of troops who entered Dhaka (now the capital of Bangladesh) on the morning of 16 December 1971. He won the Vir Chakra for the battle fought at Jamalpur on the night of 10 December 1971. His battalion was pitted against the 31st Baluch of the Pakistani Army.

In the years following the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Brar was involved in anti-insurgency operations in Nagaland and Mizoram states of India.

Gen. Brar is a decorated soldier who saw action in the 1971 war with Pakistan. He was among the first to enter Dhaka to force the Pakistani Army into surrender.(ANI)

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