London, Oct. 2 (PTI): Lt Gen. K.S. Brar, stabbed in the neck in central London on Sunday night, is convinced the attack was an attempt by "pro-Khalistan elements" to assassinate him for his role in Operation Bluestar.
Brar, who kicked and fought three of his four assailants, is recovering after being treated for his wounds at a London hospital.
He said he fought the assailants with "abnormal strength". "Now when I think back I can't imagine how I fought with those three big guys. But I suppose being a soldier and having been in the army for so many years, one learns to defend oneself," Brar, 78, said.
One of the assailants, the general said, separated his wife by pushing her against the wall, after which she fell. The other three "went for me". It all happened within a couple of minutes, "maybe one minute", he said.
Brar, due to return to India today, told a television channel last night: "This was a pure assassination attempt on me. Even on Internet there are so many threats being sent to me to say that there have been many attempts on your life but they haven't succeeded, but the next one will succeed. They have been after me."
He further said: "On June 6, which is the anniversary of Bluestar, every year, particularly in London, the radical Sikhs come out in procession with banners and make pledges to kill me. So it was a pure assassination attempt."
Brar said it was "obvious" that the assailants were Khalistan sympathisers, who, he added, have wanted to kill him since Operation Bluestar.
The officer had played a central role in Bluestar, an operation launched in 1984 to flush out Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other armed pro-Khalistan extremists from Golden Temple.
The police have told him a mobile phone had been recovered from the site of assault, in the busy Marble Arch area near Oxford Street, which may lead them to the assailants.
A decorated soldier, Brar saw action in the 1971 war with Pakistan, and was among the first to enter Dhaka when the Indian Army forced the Pakistani army into surrender.
General A.S. Vaidya, who was the army chief in 1984 and had planned Operation Bluestar, was shot dead by pro-Khalistan militants in Pune in 1986 after he had retired.
The biggest fallout of Bluestar was the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October 1984, within months of the operation.