12 held for attack on Brar; Op Bluestar hero says he is not 'football', won't relocate

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 05, 2012 20:42 hrs

London: Cracking down on the perpetrators of the "appalling" attack on Lt Gen (Retd) K S Brar here, the Scotland Yard on Friday arrested eight more people, taking to 12 the number of those held for the attempted murder of the 'Operation Blue Star' hero.

Among those arrested in connection with the last Sunday attack on 78-year-old Brar in Old Quebec Street near Oxford Street were two women.

"Officers from the Counter Terrorism Command have arrested a further eight people in connection with the investigation into the attempted murder of an Indian man (Brar) in central London on 30 September," the Metropolitan Police Service said in a statement.

It added that a further three were arrested on immigration matters unrelated to the attempted murder investigation.

The statement came as Britain's Foreign Office Minister in charge of India, Hugo Swire, called the attack on Brar "unacceptable" and "appalling", saying it was of "great concern" to the UK.

"It (the attack on Brar) is of great concern to the United Kingdom. We don't want these people here exporting their terrorist views because they represent a real threat to people in the UK apart from anything else.

"It is regarded as being as unacceptable and despicable as people in India do. These things are taken very seriously by this government. General Brar was appallingly, appallingly attacked. It would be wrong for me to comment (further) till we know who the perpetrators are," Swire said.

Meanwhile, the three people who were arrested on immigration violation charges, were nabbed from the same address where some of the suspects were held.

Giving details about today's arrests, police said two people -- a 42-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman -- were arrested at a residential address in Hillingdon borough. The man was held on suspicion of assisting an offender and the woman was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Am not 'football', I won't relocate, Brar says

Lt General K S Brar, the Operation Bluestar hero who survived a bid on his life in London on Sunday, will resist any move by the government to relocate him, saying he finds Mumbai -- his home of 20 years -- "absolutely safe" and he cannot be treated like a "football".

The 78-year-old former General of the Indian Army does not want to lead the "life of a prisoner" and feels relocation is no answer to the threat to his life.

"Yes, I will resist any attempt to relocate me. I cannot be treated like a football. I have been here for the last 20 years. I am 78 now and have few more years left. I have friends and family here," Brar told PTI in an interview while responding to media reports that the Centre was planning to shift him to an undisclosed location.

"There is no threat to the place where I stay. What is a safer place than this, unless it is in the middle of a forest, or in a prison or in a war cell. I don't want to live a prisoner's life," the highly-decorated officer, who led the operation to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple in 1984, said.

Brar said he would cut down on his movement but "never live in a cage".

"Relocation is no answer (to threat to his life) as those who want to know where I am will get to know where I am," he said, adding he has not received any official communication from the government about plans to shift him from Mumbai to a more secure place.

On media reports that the attack on him was planned in Germany on June 6, the anniversary of 'Operation Bluestar', Brar claimed it was to take place in India.

Brar, who was stabbed in the neck and cheek near Oxford Street in London on September 30 when he was walking down to his hotel with his wife, is convinced that the attackers were pro-Khalistan elements and they intended to kill him.

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