M A I N   N E W S

Lt Gen Brar returns, IB to review his security 
MHA didn’t know of his travel plans, but the Army unit in Mumbai & Military Intelligence were in the loop
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, October 3
Injured Lt Gen KS Brar (retd) landed back in Mumbai from London today. The Ministry of Home Affairs has tasked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to review his security.

Suspected Pro-Khalistan militants attacked Lt Gen Brar on Sunday in Central London. He is under “Z category” security but was without any guard at the time of the attack in which four assailants tried to kill him by slitting his throat with a knife.

Sources in the MHA said the ministry had no knowledge about his visit to London. As per standard operating procedures, the MHA should have been informed about it. Before going to London, Brar had reportedly informed the Army unit in Mumbai about his travel plans, including the location of the hotel where he would be staying.

The Military Intelligence (MI) in Delhi was also in the loop, but its mandate is only to arrange for his security in India. In case of foreign visits, the MHA and the MEA should be informed. Lt Gen Brar is guarded by a group of Army’s own commandos who are rotated every few months. His visits aboard have been sporadic.

Lt Gen Brar was the divisional commander of the 9 Division of the Army that was tasked to flush out militants holed up in the Golden Temple.

For the security agencies, the immediate task at hand is to establish if the London-based group that attacked Lt Gen Brar had any prior knowledge of his visit or was it an impromptu attack. At present, the opinion is divided among security circles. Had it been a well-planned attack, the assailants would have been better armed, a senior functionary said.

Their second task is to find out if the assailants had prior knowledge about his visit, then who was their source in India. Those in the security set-up are amazed at the tenacity with which Lt Gen Brar was being pursued despite living in a high-security naval housing complex in South Mumbai.

Another unanswered question is how did the assailants conclusively identify a 78-year-old man on a London street as Lt Gen Brar. This indicates that a latest photograph of Brar was with the four knife-wielding assailants.

An internal exercise has been started to ensure that there is no gap in communication when Lt Gen Brar goes abraod again. The IB has a dedicated wing studying pro-Khalistan militants based in India, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the US and Canada. It is likely that it will be made mandatory for the Military Intelligence to keep the IB and RAW informed about Lt Gen Brar’s security. 





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