June 5, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London: The Sikh Federation (UK) has written to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner demanding an apology for alleged police negligence and incompetence by putting the lives of thousands of peaceful Sikh protesters at risk on June 3 in central London.
Every year since June 1984 thousands of Sikhs, young and old from across the UK have gathered in central London to protest against the 1984 Sikh Genocide, remember the thousands killed by the Indian authorities for which there has been no justice and demand a separate Sikh homeland, Khalistan.
For the first time in 35 years the Metropolitan Police failed to turn up to stop traffic to allow the protest march between Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square. Although the organisers believe this is down to police negligence and incompetence and are demanding an apology there is speculation the police may have backed away from supporting the protest due to pressure from the Indian authorities.
In a recent incident in Parliament Square the police have been heavily criticised by the Indian authorities for watching the official Indian flag for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) being torn down and ripped to pieces by protesters in Parliament Square. Some in India have also suggested action against the UK Government in international courts.
Sikhs are angry about the no show from traffic police yesterday and said it is unacceptable that the Sikh community is being left without police support and penalised for being well behaved and law abiding.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “What sort of message are the police trying to send? We only police events if you are going to cause problems or break the law?”
“It appears we are being punished as we are guilty of being a law-abiding community that keeps its own house in order.”
“Anything is possible given the revelations in UK government papers last year that in June 1984 the Home Office were under intense pressure from the Indian authorities to arrest and intern Sikh leaders (the Presidents of all UK Gurdwaras) to disrupt the very first protest in London to highlight the 1984 Sikh Genocide.”
“When the police refused to arrest UK Sikh leaders in June 1984 the suggestion was made by an Indian Minister to the British High Commissioner in Delhi that Sikh protesters should be shot dead in London.”
There was significant disruption to the protest march yesterday before our own stewards and Sikh youth took matters into their own hands and risked themselves by putting their bodies between the ongoing traffic and the protest march to close roads themselves. Protesters were unnecessarily put at risk, especially families with young children and the elderly. The Sikh Federation (UK) expect over 100 MPs to receive letters in the next 48 hours from constituents upset and dismayed with the lack of police presence urging them to contact the Mayor and Commissioner.
What was very strange was police were worried about a potential flash point at Speakers Corner as they expected there to be a large group to support Tommy Robinson and counter demonstrators, but traffic police failed to turn up forcing Sikh protesters to flood Speakers Corner. Police were also there at the start of the protest in a CCTV van monitoring Sikhs suggesting a more sinister role.
An urgent meeting has also been requested by the Sikh Federation (UK) with the Mayor and Commissioner to discuss what took place and to prevent anything like this from reoccurring.
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