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Denying visas to US religious freedom monitors reflect growing intolerance in India, says UK Sikh body

March 5, 2016 | By

London: Reacting to India’s decision to deny visas to members of US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “It is clear India does not want to face scrutiny. Today it is about religious freedoms with visas being refused to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).”

S. Amrik Singh Gill, Chairman of Sikh Federation UK [File Photo]

S. Amrik Singh Gill, Chairman of Sikh Federation UK [File Photo]

“The UN Special Rapporteur on torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment has been asking to go to India for more than 25 years and getting no answer. Amnesty International has been repeatedly denied the right to investigate human rights violations in Punjab for more than 30 years”, he added.

In a written issued by the Sikh Federation UK, the diaspora Sikh body chairman added: “India is heading for disaster with religious minorities being subject to more violent attacks and forced religious conversions by Hindu nationalists under the current Modi-led government.”

“USCIRF provides policy recommendations to the US administration and Congress and was responsible for Barack Obama issuing a warning that India must not “splinter along the lines of religious faith” on a visit to Delhi last year.”
“It is only a matter of time before the international community and countries like the US, UK and Canada realise the inevitability of India breaking up due to increasing religious intolerance”, added he.

“The growing political contacts we have had across the globe indicate the establishment of an independent Sikh homeland is much closer than many appreciate. It is increasingly being understood this would be a positive development to improve international security and stability. The leadership in the Sikh Diaspora need to be prepared to respond quickly to the changing political circumstances”, the statement reads further.

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