Sikh separatists tried to slash throat of retired Indian general in London revenge attack, court hears


Four Sikh separatists tried to slash the throat of a retired Indian general in a revenge attack carried out on the streets of London, a court heard today.

Two of the men and a female co-defendant appeared in court accused of attacking Lt Gen Kuldip Singh Brar last year. They, along with one man who has already admitted his part in the attack and another who has never been arrested, believed retired Lt Gen Brar to be responsible for atrocities committed at the Golden Temple of Amritsar during the Indian army's crackdown on Sikh separatists in 1984, the prosecution alleged.

The prosecutor Annabel Darlow said that one of the defendants Harjit Kaur, 39, tracked the retired soldier as he holidayed in the West End with his wife Meena. She told the jury her case would prove that Ms Kaur passed on the Brars' whereabouts to the attackers on the day of the alleged assault in September last year.

The other two men Mandeep Sandhu, 34, Dilbag Singh, 37, were accused of carrying out the attack itself. All three standing trial have been charged with wounding the 78-year-old Lt Gen Brar with intent. Barjinder Sangha, 33, has admitted the same charge, the court heard. The last alleged accomplice is not involved in the case at Southwark Crown Court.

"Kuldip Brar was slashed right across the neck with a knife. He sustained very deep cuts to his face and neck," said prosecutor Annabel Darlow. She added: "Each took part in an enterprise to cause Kuldip Brar serious harm."

And Ms Darlow said: "The four [men] acted in a group, deterring anyone else from becoming involved and going to General Brar's aid and sheltering the knifeman from view. Harjit Kaur too played a crucial role silently, unobtrusively following the Brars."

Harjit Kaur wore a pink shirt as she listened to the proceedings from the dock. Her co-defendant Mandeep Sandhu wore a white shirt with dark pinstripes and Dilbag Singh a grey t-shirt. The men wore Turbans and long, dark beards. None spoke and interpreters assisted all three throughout.

Lt Gen Brar, himself a Sikh, said that he was given one of India's highest levels of protection as a result of "unlimited" threats to his life. Giving evidence via videolink from India this afternoon, he said that one website declared him the "number one enemy of the Sikhs". Another threat he said he received read: "there have been seven attempts on his life which have not succeeded, but the eighth one will."

He was not protected, however, on his trip to London, which he said was a private holiday. He added that he and his wife, who have been regular visitors to London for more than a decade, did not want a security detail because they preferred to enjoy a normal holiday. "We wanted to meet our friends and walk in Hyde Park," he said. Their protection has now been stepped up as a result of the attack, the General added.

As the prosecution opened its case today, the jury saw CCTV evidence Ms Darlow said showed the four men running away from the scene of the crime. The jury also saw footage the prosecution said showed the General falling to the floor immediately after the attack.

The jury heard that the prosecution will attempt to show that the defendants were in constant contact via mobile phone, despite rarely contacting each other before that weekend. Ms Darlow alleged that most of the group met in London at the city’s Central Gurdwara, before reconnoitring the hotel their alleged target was staying in and launching their attack.

They were tracked down, Ms Darlow said, after one of the group's discarded mobile phone was found at the scene and handed in.

Mandeep Sandhu, from Birmingham, Dilbag Singh, from London, and Harjit Kaur, from London, all deny the charges. The trial continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power