Lt. General (retired) Kuldeep Singh Brar, who led the controversial Operation Blue Star to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, was stabbed near a hotel in Central London on Sunday night by unidentified attackers and suffered minor injuries. He was taken to hospital and later discharged.
Police said they had registered a case of assault and were investigating. No arrests had been made until late on Monday.
Gen. Brar’s wife was with him and the couple were returning home after having dinner when the incident took place.
Police said they were called to Old Quebec Street, near Marble Arch, at 10.40 p.m. on Sunday.
“Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended the scene and discovered a man in his 70s, suffering from an injury believed caused by a knife. The man was taken to hospital where his injuries were described as serious but not believed to be life threatening, ” a Scotland Yard spokesman said.
His family declined to comment.
“We have no comment to make,” a family member told The Hindu.
Gen. Brar (78), who has been on the hit list of several extremists and militant organisations , enjoys “Z” category security, but was thought to have been without any protection at the time of the incident as he was on a private visit and had not informed the Indian mission here of his movements.
A spokesperson of the Indian High Commission said they had not been aware of his visit but security had been given to him after the incident.
“Necessary security has been provided after we came to know about his visit,” she said, adding the mission was in touch with Gen. Brar’s family.
The incident came amid reports that the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) had become increasingly active in the U.K. despite a ban on its activities under terror laws since 2001. There was reported to be no specific intelligence or alert relating to any threat to Gen. Brar or any other Indian.
Indian authorities were said to be miffed that the police had not acted on complaints about Khalistani-related violence. The High Commission reportedly filed a démarché after an Independence Day function in the East Midlands was disrupted last month. There was another incident involving the breaking-up of a function by the Indian Workers’ Association on August 18. Sources in the mission said no criminal action was initiated after these actions.
In July 2010, the West Midlands police arrested four BKI terrorists, including their then top U.K. leader Paramjit Singh Pamma, in connection with the murder of Rulda Singh, the head of the Punjab RSS affiliate, the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat. The other three were Gursharan Bir Singh, Piara Singh Gill and Amritbir Singh. The case was being investigated by the Counter Terrorism Unit of the West Midland police but it is now known if any progress has been made.
Gen. Brar was decorated for his role in liberating Bangladesh after the 1971 India-Pakistan war.