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Sikh man on trial for protest halting India’s Independence day celebrations at Coventry community centre

January 4, 2013 | By

Coventry, United Kingdom (January 04, 2012): As per media reports a Sikh man has gone on trial accused of being involved in a protest to halt celebrations of India’s independence at a Coventry community centre.

According to “Coventry Telegraph” report “Jasvinder Singh Ubhi appeared at Coventry Magistrates Court yesterday in connection with a protest staged by about 50 members of the Satkaar group”.

“They were protesting against what they claimed was the serving of meat and alcohol at Ramgharia Family Centre, in Foleshill Road”, report reads furhter.

As per information Jasvinder Singh Ubhi, aged 54, of Heywood Close, Courthouse Green, Coventry, denies trespass.

The prosecution claims that he was one of 50 people who gatecrashed the private party in a bid to force organisers to abandon the celebrations on Saturday August 18, 2012.

The court heard how some members of the group wore balaclavas and barricaded the doors with tables and chairs to prevent other guests from entering the property.

As per reports no one was injured, but Councillor Ram Lakha, who organised the event, told the court he was badly shaken by the experience. He claims serious threats were made against him on Facebook following the incident.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Jagdeep Sekhon said Jasvinder Singh Ubhi was not invited but entered the premises along with 50 other people, some of whom made serious threats.

Ms Sekhon added: “There were allegations of threatening behaviour from the protesters which included shouting at organisers to leave the function or there will be injuries. There were no injuries, and no assaults took place.

“It was a private function with invite only. The defendant was not one of those persons and he trespassed the function. While he may not have been involved in all the activities, he was the leader of the group which led to the disruption of that party and as a result of that it ended.”

The event had been organised by members of the Indian Workers Association (IWA) to celebrate India’s independence from British rule on August 15, 1947.

Witness Coun Lakha said: “The fire doors were opened and I was surprised to see people coming through. I had a gentlemanly conversation with Mr Jasvinder Singh Ubhi but what happened afterwards was more frightening.

“One of the group members threatened me that if I don’t get out there will be injuries. It was a scary position. I texted the police, ‘We’re invaded please help’. Only one police officer came.

He added: “The family centre is not a religious entity. It’s a hall for social events. We cannot sell alcohol at the community centre but there wasn’t a condition that no one could drink alcohol.”

As per media reports the trial continues.

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