London, July 16:
Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher had pressed the prosecutors to level charges against a Britain-based Sikh who incited the assassination of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, The Independent reported on Thursday, citing secret government papers.
The documents, released at the National Archives in Kew in London, revealed that Thatcher became exasperated after police and prosecutors said there were no grounds for prosecuting Jagjit Singh Chauhan despite his trenchant rhetoric against the Gandhi family.
Chauhan – a militant who predicted Gandhi’s death at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984 – had said in a BBC interview that she and her family would be “beheaded”, the report said.
Sir Robert Wade-Gery, the then British High Commissioner in India, had warned that Britain’s relations with India were in danger over Chauhan’s presence on British soil.
The diplomat wrote: “If this (assassination) 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.”
The former Conservative prime minister said she did not understand why Chauhan, who was the founder of a movement campaigning for an independent Sikh state and moved to Britain in 1971, managed to avoid being charged with inciting violence. (IANS)