As Lt Gen KS Brar, the Operation Bluestar hero who survived an attack on him in London returned to India on Wednesday, the Centre is looking to relocate him from Mumbai besides enhancing his security to 'Z-plus' category. Indian agencies were also verifying reports that the plot to attack 78-year-old Lt Gen(retd) Brar on Sunday night in central London may have been hatched in Germany.
Officials in Delhi said the Centre will soon relocate Brar from Mumbai to an undisclosed location, as his security came under spotlight.
Brar, who had a bandage on his neck and cheek, and his wife Meena arrived in Mumbai at noon from London. The couple was escorted to their vehicle amid tight security after they were received by defence officials.
A row also broke out after Brar hit out at the ruling Akali Dal in Punjab alleging it was supporting extremist groups prompting chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to say that the Akalis had suffered at the hands of terrorists. There is nothing to suggest that Brar's assailants had links with Akalis, Badal said.
Brar suffered injuries in the attack after which he said it was an attempt to assassinate him by "pro-Khalistan elements" for his role in the 1984 "Operation Bluestar" to flush out Sikh terrorists holed up in Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Coming out of the Mumbai airport, Meena said they were very happy to be back home. "Thank you all for your concern," she said.
When asked if she felt there was an increased threat to her husband's life and they require more security, she said, "No".
"That (threat) is always there and will be there. That doesn't really matter," she said.
'Would not be cowed down by attack'
Unfazed by the attempt on his life in London, Lt Gen (retd) KS Brar has asserted he would not be cowed down by the attack and not hesitate to air his views fearlessly.
"I cannot afford to be frightened (by the attack)... well, I have to take care of myself but would express views forcefully", the 78-year-old General told reporters at his residence in Mumbai after his return from the British capital.
He expressed unhappiness over Government's claim that there was no need to provide security to him. "home ministry may have their own views... they kept on saying that I did not inform them (about my London visit). They say security will be given if needed. Don't I need security?. It is unfortunate that they (government) are so irresponsible."
Brar said he had informed the Army about his visit to London.
"I informed the authorities who might have shared the information with defence, home and external affairs ministries. That is not my concern. Whether they provide security or not, it does not matter. But this does not stop me from meeting my relatives and family. I am not a prisoner."
Meanwhile, Maharashtra home minister RR Patil said his government would step up the security provided to him.
However, he did not elaborate how much additional security would be given to the retired General.
Asked whether there was an increased threat perception to his life in the view of the UK incident, he said "if you go to Facebook there are accounts of `hate Brar' and some of them even say 'we need to kill Brar'."
"There are hate clubs on Facebook. Go to Google and you would find threats to me. This is something that I have to live with. I can’t afford to be frightened. I have to take care of myself. But I will express my views, forcefully and strongly."
There have been spurt in the activities of Khalistan terror groups like Babar Khalsa International in the recent past abroad and intelligence agencies suspect that the plot to attack the highly decorated officer was planned in Germany.
"There have been reports that the attack on Gen Brar was planned in Germany on June six on Bluestar operation anniversary. We are ascertaining the facts," a security official said in New Delhi.
Before Badal rejected Brar's allegations, Congress leader and former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh alleged "Badal's silence(after the attack) is just not criminal, it is seditious and betrays his moral cowardice."