New Delhi, Apr 4: Responding to an RTI plea, the Central Information Commission (CIC) accepted the Army’s contention that disclosure of information related to Operation Bluestar could be detrimental to the nation’s security. Citing intolerance among communities, the CIC said the disclosure of files related to Operation Bluestar “be a potential cause for incitement of offences of varied nature”.
Information commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha said the commission “concedes with the view that disclosure of information will be primarily prejudicial to internal security of the nation and can be a potential cause for incitement of offences of varied nature”. “Disclosure of the relevant records is not prudent at a time when the nation is rife with instances of invariable intolerance amongst communities,” he added.
The response included the written submission of the central public information officer (CPIO) of the defence ministry (Army), who contended that “disclosure of these records will have severe implication for the integrity of the state in as much as the operation was launched essentially to safeguard the integrity of the nation from separatist elements”, reported a newspaper.
The CPIO further said, “Subversive elements related to the separatist movement in affected areas still remain active in India and abroad. It also means that disclosure of this information at any point in today’s time will invariably enable anti-national elements and external agencies to rejuvenate separatist designs while drawing inspiration in the name of the terrorists who were killed during the operation.”
The CPIO pointed out attacks on officers involved in Operation Bluestar to make the point that disclosure of names of officers involved in the operation will put their lives in danger. Sinha agreed with the Army’s submission and dismissed the appellant’s argument that the information was no longer sensitive as it was over 30 years old. The Indian Army carried out Operation Bluestar in June 1984 to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple complex.