A former Indian military chief who spearheaded the 1984 Amritsar Golden Temple operation against Sikh fighters has been stabbed in a London street, according to officials.
A spokesperson for the Indian High Commission in London told the AFP news agency that retired Lieutenant-General Kuldip Singh Brar was attacked by four people on Sunday evening during a private visit to the British capital.
An ambulance rushed the 78-year-old to hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released.
London’s Metropolitan Police force said it was treating the attack as attempted murder and appealed for witnesses. Police say they have not established a motive for the stabbing.
“He was injured and he’s out of danger now. He is weak but he has been discharged from hospital“
– Indian High Commission spokesperson
Brar said that he was attacked due to his role in the storming of the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, an operation in which more than 1,000 people were killed.
Speaking to Indian media, he said that he “kicked and boxed and warded off the attack”, and that he had sustained a slash to his neck.
The spokesperson said: “He was coming out from after dinner. We were told by his wife – both of them were there – that there were four people. She was not harmed. He was stabbed.
“He was injured and he’s out of danger now. He is weak but he has been discharged from hospital.
“He was on a private visit and we did not know he was visiting. Most probably he will leave on Tuesday back to India,” the spokesperson added.
London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed they were investigating the case and told the AFP news agency they were called to the scene at 11:20pm on Sunday to reports of a man being assaulted in Old Quebec Street in central London.
Twenty-eight years ago, on then-prime minister Indira Gandhi’s instructions, Brar led Operation Blue Star, to flush out fighters holed up in Sikhdom’s holiest shrine demanding an independent Sikh homeland.
Four months after Operation Blue Star, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards in retaliation. This triggered national anti-Sikh riots in which thousands of people were killed, mostly in the streets of the capital New Delhi.
SM Krishna, India’s foreign minister, who is in the United States presently, told reporters that the Indian government would take up the investigation into the attack on Brar with British authorities.