The Indian military general who led the 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab, which killed 1,000 people, has been stabbed by unknown attackers in London.
Retired Lt. General Kuldeep Singh Brar, 78, has long been threatened by Sikh extremists over his actions in that operation; however, it is not clear if the attack amounted to political revenge or a simple act of urban violence.
Operation Bluestar, an attempt by India’s government to flush out armed Sikh militants who were holed up in the Golden Temple, ultimately led to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi later in 1984.
The dead included women, children and pilgrims.
The militants were seeking an independent homeland for Sikhs, called Khalistan.
According to British media, Brar was attacked on Sunday night by three or four men outside a hotel on Old Quebec Street in the Oxford Circus area of London -- he was taken to hospital and sustained serious injuries. He was released on Monday and is expected to fly back to India on Tuesday.
His wife, who was with her husband during the attack, told India’s NDTV: “We were walking down Oxford Circus at 10.30 p.m. ... Three bearded men attacked him and tried to slash his throat. We cannot say if they were Sikh. I was standing by watching and called for help. The ambulance was there within minutes and we rushed him to hospital."
The Press Trust of India reported that a military attaché from the Indian High Commission in London rushed to the hospital to check on Brar, who is a highly decorated military officer.
Scotland Yard said that it has made no arrests thus far in connection with the incident.
Brar, who lives in a high-security compound in Mumbai, was reportedly on a private visit to Britain with his wife. He was also acclaimed for his actions in the 1971 war with Pakistan, which led to the formation of Bangladesh.