Brar accuses Punjab govt of provoking extremists

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London/Chandigarh, Oct 3: Lt Gen (retd) Kuldeep Singh Brar, who had narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on Monday, said it was a plan hatched by pro-Khalistani activists and also accused the policies of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-led government in Punjab of backing the militants.

Brar said in an interview that Britain is a hotbed of Khalistanis and anybody could have carried out the attack. He also mentioned the name of Babbar Khalsa, one of the commando groups.

Taking a dig at the Akalis, Brar said the latter were mixing up religion with politics. He said the monument that is being built in memory of Operation Bluestar in Amritsar would only revive bitter memories and it would turn out into a rallying point for future terrorists. He also criticised the Centre for not taking stern action when it comes to dealing with the anti-national elements.

Punjab Congress leader Amarinder Singh backed the former lieutenant general and said those who attacked the latter were young people and they were not there when Operation Bluestar took place. He accused the Parkash Singh Badal government for provoking youngsters.

The Punjab government, however, refuted such allegation. Government sources said such incidents happen in western countries but not in India. Harcharan Bains, media advisor to the Punjab CM said supporters of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who reside in countries like Britain and Canada have also vowed to get him. For him, the attack on Lt Gen Brar was not something surprising.

He was supported by former Punjab DGP KPS Gill, who had given leadership to the police against the militancy in Punjab. He said radical Shikhs often carry out terrorist activities in England but that does not mean that Sikh terrorism was gaining back its steam.

Brar, 78, fought three assailants despite being seriously injured before the passers-by rushed to their rescue. His wife was accompanying him when the attack took place at central London on Sunday night.

Mrs Brar turns down need for more security

Lt Gen Brar and his wife Meena arrived at the Mumbai airport along with his wife on Wednesday. While coming out of the airport here, Brar's wife Meena said they were very happy to be back home. "Thank you all for your concern," she said. When asked if she felt there was an increased threat to her husband's life and they require more security, she said, "No".

"That (threat) is always there and will be there. That doesn't really matter," she added. Brar, who had a bandage on his neck and cheek, and his wife arrived here at noon from London. They were escorted to their vehicle amid tight security. Senior defence officials were present at the airport to receive them.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray condemned the attack on Lt Gen Brar and said it was the responsibility of the Indian government to protect the General. "If Lt Gen Brar is attacked again, it will strengthen the Khalistani "snakes", Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamna on Wednesday.

OneIndia News

(With PTI inputs)

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