Following the recent attack on Lt Gen (Retd) KS Brar — who was involved in Operation Blue Star — in London, the Union home ministry offered to beef-up security of officers involved in the operation. But an ex-officer, who was among the senior officers who drew up plans to flush out Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, said it was better not to approach the home ministry.
The officer, hailing from Karnataka, who has kept his identity concealed (role in Operation Blue Star) since his retirement from the Indian Army, said it was best turn down the security cover if offered.
Speaking to DNA, on the condition that his identity would not be revealed, he said “I am laying low; generally people boost about their heroics,” he said. “Prime minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered the operation, was the first to go, as she was shot down by her own guards. Gen AS Vaidya, the chief of army staff was also bumped off, Lt Gen Ranjit Singh Dayal, who was also in the forefront of the operation, recently passed away and had a natural death. Now only I and officers younger to me like Lt Gen Brar and Brig Issar Rahim Khan, who was a colonel, are alive,” said the officer who held the rank of Lt Gen. Citing examples of Gen Vaidya and Lt Gen Dayal and how the security cover provided by the government to them was not adequate, he said, “The security of Gen Vaidya was whittled down at the time of attack. Dayal, upon retirement, was guarded by the NSG’s Special Protection Group, but it was also removed over a period of time and replaced by state police”.
On the attack on Lt Gen Brar, he said the former commander of Operation Blue Star was a freak officer and that the repercussions of the operation are being felt now.
He said though PM Gandhi ordered the army to carry out the operation two years before the actual Operation Blue Star, army commanders advised her against doing so. “The capture of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his militant supporters from the Golden Temple should have been carried out by the Punjab Armed Police, CRPF and BSF, but they did not. It was an extreme position in 1984 and the army had to step in to flush out the militancy that had gripped Punjab,” he said.