February 23, 2016 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: Sikh Council UK says that it has received written confirmation from the UK Government that no dossier was handed over during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK in November 2015 as alleged by Indian media.
This comes in a letter from Baroness Williams, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the DCLG who was passed a letter from Sikh Council UK sent to the Prime Minister for her to reply. In a clear statement, Baroness Williams says, “I can categorically state that no information was given to the Prime Minister or any other member of government, before, during or after Prime Minister Modi’s visit, pertaining to such an issue.”
PM Modi arrived in the UK on 12 November 2015 for a high profile three day visit. As part of the visit, PM Modi at short notice met with a delegation of Sikhs to respond to longstanding human rights concerns previously raised with his office.
In the run up to the visit, reports appeared in Indian media referring to a dossier containing names of individuals, Sikh media outlets and Gurdwaras that are allegedly promoting the radicalisation of young Sikhs and involved in extremist activities for PM Modi to hand over to the UK authorities.
Secretary General of Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said, “Reports of the dossier were extremely widespread and have served to spread fear amongst Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike both in the UK and across the world. Sikh Council UK therefore wrote to the UK Prime Minister on 17 November 2015 to seek information about whether a dossier had been handed over and, if so, what its contents were and we have now received a very clear reply.”
He added, “Sikh Council UK has been investigating, challenging and collating evidence of improper reporting by the Indian media for several months now. We have a number of case studies and will shortly be publishing a detailed report detailing our concerns and requesting action from the media, regulators, government, politicians and the community.”