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Sikh Federation (UK) warns Indian politicans of dire consequences if they misjudge the mood of Sikhs

May 2, 2013 | By

London, United Kingdom (May 01, 2013): The Sikh Federation has issued a strongly worded statement warning politicians in Punjab and the center to recognize the sentiment of Sikhs not only in the Diaspora, but also those in Punjab, Delhi and other parts of India.

The statement from Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) reads:

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK)

‘Politicians need to take heed of the mood of Sikhs. If they misjudge this mood they will be responsible for the consequences and the angry reaction that may result. Politicians must realise Sikhs are genuinely disappointed and outraged. International media reporting and access to different forms of media is very different now than a few years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. Therefore, the decisions made by politicians are more closely scrutinised and contested.’

‘In recent weeks we have seen the inappropriate banning of the film Sadda Haq by state governments in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The only reason for banning the film was that it exposes police brutality and tactics used to discredit the armed struggle in Punjab following the massacre of Sikhs in June and November 1984. There is now even more interest in the film since the Supreme Court lifted the ban. Many ordinary Sikhs and non-Sikhs are expected in increasing numbers to watch the film and sympathise after seeing the unfair treatment of Sikhs.’

‘We have also seen the disgraceful Supreme Court decision against Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar on 12 April and the huge outcry not only by Sikhs, but also many senior past and present members of the Indian judiciary who recognise the continued miscarriage of justice. The treatment of Professor Bhullar has also been exposed by leading human rights groups, like Amnesty International. Governments around the globe, not least the German, Canadian and UK governments are carefully watching to see if the Indian Home Minister and Indian President will see sense and not only lift the threat of the death penalty, but also release Professor Bhullar given how long he has already been in prison and the state of his health.’

‘If this was not enough, this week we have seen objections by non-Sikh politicians to the inclusion of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’s name on the entrance of the newly built memorial for the martyrs in June 1984. This in turn has resulted in disquiet from the Punjab government that is exerting pressure on the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Jathedar of the Akaal Takht. They would be best advised not to insist on any changes to the memorial as emotions are running very high following yesterday’s acquittal of Sajjan Kumar or they may be an unexpected backlash.’

‘Sikhs waited 29 years for a memorial, but are still waiting for justice. Yesterday’s acquittal of Sajjan Kumar is a clear signal to Sikhs that they will never get justice in India and the Indian judicial system is fundamentally flawed. Sikhs are naturally comparing Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal to the treatment of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar over the last 18 years and will not take kindly to any interference in what is or is not written on its memorial to the martyrs of June 1984.’

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