'The identities of civil servants who investigated British involvement in India’s Golden Temple massacre will remain secret, despite concerns that they could have potentially tampered with key evidence.
An anonymity order from the Information Commissioner means the government will not have to admit whether top officials active during the massacre were later allowed to control what files investigators saw.
The commissioner made the ruling after Whitehall claimed its staff could be targeted on social media which “may cause them distress.”
Indian troops shelled the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984, in a military operation against Sikh dissidents who were occupying their faith’s holiest site.
Hundreds if not thousands of Sikh pilgrims perished in the cross-fire.
In 2014, newly declassified British government files revealed that Margaret Thatcher had sent an SAS officer to advise Indian commanders how to raid the temple just months before the operation unfolded.
The revelation caused outrage among British Sikhs and then-prime minister David Cameron immediately launched a review — although he stopped short of ordering a full public inquiry.
Mr Cameron’s in-house review was conducted at breakneck speed by a Cabinet Office team and absolved the British military of any wrongdoing.
His probe claimed that the SAS role was “limited” and the officer’s advice was not heeded.
Sikh groups branded the review a “whitewash” and it later emerged that the Cabinet Office had not been given access to a crucial special forces file.
Concerns escalated further when Whitehall admitted in 2017 that it had allowed retired diplomats to select what files the Cabinet Office team saw.
The government then refused to rule out whether these ex-diplomats included a man called Bruce Cleghorn.'
Read more: Cover-up in India’s 1984 Golden Temple Massacre? British Involvement Revealed
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16 May 2019
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