The murderous attack on Lt-Gen (retired) Kuldip Singh Brar in central London last September was “no random” incident but a “highly premeditated assault by people who thought about what they were doing and planned it,” a court was told on Tuesday as three persons, including a woman, went on trial charged with stabbing him.

Prosecution said that Gen. Brar was deliberately targeted for his role in the controversial 1984 “Operation Blue Star” to remove militants from the Golden Temple Complex.

Gen. Brar was stabbed with a knife by four men when he and his wife Meena were returning to their hotel in Oxford Street after dinner on the night of September 30. He sustained deep cuts on his face and throat. Meena was also attacked when she tried to intervene.

“Mr. Brar is now retired but during his career as a general in the Indian Army, he oversaw a number of military operations which have made him a target for Sikh extremist groups,” said the prosecutor Annabel Darlow. “This was no random attack. This was a highly premeditated assault by people who thought about what they were doing and planned it.”

Mandeep Singh Sandhu (34) from Birmingham, and Dilbag Singh (36) and Harjit Kaur (38), both from London, are charged with “wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.” They deny the charges.

A fourth person, Barjinder Singh Sangha (33) has already pleaded guilty and would be sentenced after the conclusion of the trial of others accused in the case.

According to the prosecution, the accused conducted two reconnaissance “missions” to check Gen. Brar’s movements after they came know that he was in London. On the night of the attack, Ms. Kaur shadowed the couple following them into a casino and then a restaurant. She also got into a bus with them.

“She played a crucial role, silently and unobtrusively following this couple who were unaware they were being followed by a woman who was relaying information to four men that were bent on attacking Brar,” the prosecutor said.