UK & World News

  • 10 December 2013, 19:46

Sikh Gang Jailed Over Attack On Lt Gen Brar

Three Sikh men and a woman have received lengthy jail sentences after being convicted of slashing an elderly Indian military veteran in the neck in central London.

Lieutenant General Kuldeep Singh Brar, 78, who was involved in an operation against Sikh militants in Amritsar in 1984 that left around 1,000 people dead, was attacked by a gang of four during a visit to London.

He was walking with his wife on Old Quebec Street near Marble Arch when he was ambushed on September 30 last year.

Mandeep Singh Sandhu, 35, of Great Barr, Birmingham, and Dilbag Singh, 37, of no fixed abode, have been sentenced to 14 years in prison while Harjit Kaur, 39, of Hayes, Middlesex, was jailed for 11 years, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

They were all found guilty of wounding with intent following a trial at Southwark Crown Court in July.

A third man - Barjinder Singh Sangha, 34, of Wolverhampton, had previously pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years today.

Singh Sangha had also been charged with the common assault of Meena Brar, Lt Gen's Brar's wife, but the offence was ordered to lie on file.

The victim's role in the Indian Army, overseeing "a number of military operations ... made him a target for Sikh extremist groups", the court heard.

The attack on the retired general was described as "highly premeditated".

Following a reconnaissance of the area where he was staying, Sangha grabbed the general's wife and held her by the throat against a wall while the others attacked Lt Gen Brar before Sangha also joined in.

The gang then fled on foot towards Oxford Street, leaving the elderly man lying on the ground with a 12-inch cut which ran across his jaw and neck and sliced through muscle. He was also treated in hospital for a three-inch cut to the jaw.

The subsequent investigation was carried out by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command (SO15).

Lt Gen Brar had been in the Indian Army for 40 years rising to the rank of Lt Gen and is well-known for his role in Operation Blue Star, which involved attacking the Golden Temple which is sacred to Sikhs.

He has survived several assassination attempts and still receives death threats, the court heard, but none of the defendants were accused of any other attacks.

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the chief of the Indian Army General Arun Vaidya were among those assassinated in the aftermath of the operation.

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