London

Indian general Kuldeep Singh Brar's attacker jailed for 10 years

Lieutenant-General Kuldeep Singh Brar Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lt Gen Brar was left with a 12-inch cut running across his neck and jaw

A 26-year-old man who attacked a retired Indian general in revenge for the 1984 military offensive on the Golden Temple in Amritsar has been jailed for 10 years.

Lieutenant-General Kuldeep Singh Brar, 78, was attacked as he walked with his wife in central London in 2012.

Lakhbir Singh, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.

Three Sikh men and a woman were jailed for their part in the attack in December.

Lt Gen Brar was involved in Operation Blue Star against Sikh separatists in June 1984, who the military said were sheltering in the Golden Temple - one of the holiest shrines of the Sikhs.

Last year Mandeep Singh Sandhu, of Birmingham, and Dilbag Singh, from London, were sentenced to 14 years and Harjit Kaur, from London, was jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of wounding with intent. Barjinder Singh Sangha, from Wolverhampton, received a sentence of 10 years and six months after pleading guilty to the charge.

12-inch cut

Police said the gang had travelled to London in September after becoming aware of Lt-Gen Brar's presence in the UK.

The retired general and his wife, Meena, were returning to their hotel in the West End when the attack happened on 30 September 2012, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Image copyright Met
Image caption Sandhu, Singh, Kaur and Sangha were sentenced for their part in the attack last year

On the day of the attack Harjit Kaur followed the Brars around London and provided the group with regular updates about the couple's movements.

When the couple reached Old Quebec Street, Sangha slashed the victim's neck.

Lt-Gen Brar was left with a 12-inch cut running across his neck and jaw and another three-inch cut to the jaw.

Lakhbir Singh handed himself into a local police station in Ascoli, Italy, and was arrested on 19 February by Italian authorities in connection with the attack.

Commander Duncan Ball, head of the Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "The conviction of Lakhbir Singh now means that all those directly involved in the attempt to assassinate General Brar have been brought to justice."

The Indian government says 400 people and 87 soldiers were killed in the raid on the Golden Temple, but Sikh groups say the number of casualties was much higher.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was subsequently assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in what was seen as a revenge attack.

Lt-Gen Brar, himself a Sikh, was one of the architects of Operation Blue Star. He has survived several assassination attempts and still receives death threats.

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