Margaret Thatcher Wanted To Prosecute Founder Of The Khalistan Movement

16/07/2015 7:05 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
PA/PA Wire
Embargoed to 0001 Monday March 3 File photo dated 12/10/1984 of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Government documents made by public by the U.K. government reveal that Margaret Thatcher wanted to prosecute Jagjit Singh Chauhan, founder of the Khalistan movement, who made incendiary remarks against Indira Gandhi and her family before and after she was assassinated.

Britain's former prime minister, who died last year, pressed prosecutors to bring charges against Chauhan while the Sikh nationalist was living in the U.K., The Independent reported on Thursday, but she was told that there was no ground for prosecuting him even though he was predicting the death of the Gandhi family.

Before India's former prime minister was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, Chauhan told the BBC in an interview that she and her family would be “beheaded.” The Thatcher government ordered him to stop making such inflammatory remarks, but he was never prosecuted.

The documents also revealed that Sir Robert Wade-Gery, the British High Commissioner in India, informed London that her son Rajiv Gandhi was at a high risk of being assassinated, and his death could seriously jeopardise U.K interests in India, The Independent reported.

"If this happens while we are still tolerating Chauhan, the effect on all our interests here could catastrophic. Lives and property could be lost as well as contracts and influence," he wrote.

Thatcher's private secretary Charles Powell wrote, “She does not see how Chauhan can evade the charge of inciting to violence simply by saying he is not doing so... The Prime Minister is of the view that the Law Officers might with advantage study the papers once more.”

Chauhan died at the age of 80 in 2007.

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