London: London police are on the lookout for four men with "long black beards" following an assassination attempt on Lt Gen (Retd) KS Brar, who led the Indian Army operation into the Golden Temple in Punjab in June 1984.
The Metropolitan Police sent out an appeal for information following the attack on Brar in Old Quebec Street, near the junction with Oxford Street at around 10.40 pm on Sunday.
Brar, who lives under heavy security cover as he is on the hit list of Sikh militant groups, told Indian television channels that it was an assassination attempt on him.
"There were four burly, bearded guys. They pounced on me, one attacked my wife...three grappled with me. One pulled out a knife, can`t say if it was a kirpan (a dagger, a Sikh religious symbol)…The motive was not robbery. The motive was assassination, they wanted me dead," Brar said in a TV interview.
"Had I not fought back I would not be here speaking to you," Brar said. He had a bandage around his neck and bits of plaster on his forehead.
The police appeal went: "He was assaulted with what is believed to be a knife or sharp implement and suffered a wound on his neck. His wife was not injured in the attack.
"The four men are described as wearing dark clothing and long black jackets. They all had long beards. One of the men is described as younger and slimmer than the other three. They all fled in the direction of Oxford Street.
"Officers and London Ambulance Service attended the scene and discovered a man, aged 78, suffering from an injury believed caused by a knife or sharp implement.
"He was taken to hospital where he received treatment and was later discharged.
"Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time or who may have information about the incident.
"In particular they want to speak to those people who assisted the wife and the victim at the scene following the attack.
"They are keeping an open mind regards motivation for the attack.
"There have been no arrests at this time and inquiries continue."