Jeremy Heywood, author of the Heywood review, has died

LONDON: Jeremy Heywood, the senior civil servant who wrote the document investigating UK involvement in Operation Blue Star, has died of lung cancer.

The former cabinet secretary died aged 56 on Sunday.

Whilst serving former prime minister David Cameron, he was tasked with investigating the UK link to the 1984 Indian operation at Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar after files from the Thatcher government, declassified in 2014, published that Britain had despatched an SAS officer to India in February, ahead of Operation Blue Star, to “draw up a plan to take away Sikh extremists from the Temple”. This provoked uproar some of the Sikh community who demanded an investigation.

His document, referred to as the Heywood Review and printed in February 2014, found “no file of any help to the June 1984 operation referred to as ‘Blue Star’ by the Indian government as opposed to the restricted army advice supplied in mid-February”.

He wrote: “The UK government did ship one army officer to supply army advice on Indian contingency plans for an operation at Sri Harmandir Sahib. This army advice was a one-off. It was now not sustained. There was no different UK army help, equivalent to coaching or apparatus, given to the Indians with Operation Blue Star. There had been important differences between the real June operation, and the recommendation from the UK army officer in February.”

At the 35th Annual International Sikh Convention held in the West Midlands in September, at which more than 10,000 Sikhs and more than 200 gurdwaras had been represented, a solution was passed that Sikhs had been “misled” by the 2014 Heywood Review. The solution demanded “an unbiased public inquiry” into UK government involvement in the 1984 operation and “anti–Sikh” measures of the 1980s.

The Sikh Federation (UK) tweeted on Tuesday: “At a private degree demise of a cherished one, particularly to cancer could be very sad and our thoughts/prayers are together with his buddies/family. However, the worldwide Sikh community will have in mind Jeremy Heywood for the cover-up of UK involvement in the 1984 Sikh Genocide.”

British Sikh millionaire Rami Ranger CBE instructed TOI: “I don’t think we should blame a civil servant for the document. The resolution was made by the political leaders. I blame the then Indian government for the usage of the Indian Army against its own people to assault the Golden Temple. We can't blame him for trying to find out the truth.”

Jeremy Heywood, author of the Heywood review, has died Jeremy Heywood, author of the Heywood review, has died Reviewed by Kailash on November 07, 2018 Rating: 5
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