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UK Sikh Bodies Strongly Condemn Arrests of Sikhs in Punjab

November 7, 2016 | By

London: England based Sikh groups have condemned the crackdown of Punjab police against Sikh activists and leaders connected with November 10, 2016 proposed gathering at Talwandi Sabo.

In two separately issued statements United Khalsa Dal (UK) and the Sikh Federation UK condemned the Punjab government for unleashing police crackdown on Sikhs.

Punjab police crackdown on Sikh activists continues [File Photo]

Punjab police crackdown on Sikh activists continues [File Photo]

UKD leaders Nirmal Singh Sandhu and Loveshinder Singh Dallewal said that Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and his ‘clan’ has betrayed the Sikhs. They praised Simranjit Singh Mann for confronting Bathinda SHO who allegedly tried to arrest S. Mann and others on intervening night of November 5 and 6.

A written statement issued by the Sikh Federation UK reads as follows:

London (PRESS RELEASE): On 10 November a Sarbat Khalsa (assembly of all Sikhs) is scheduled to take place at Talwandi Sabo (Bathinda), although developments in the last 48 hours make this much more difficult. The gathering last year on the same day held in Chabba village on the outskirts of Amritsar attracted an estimated 500,000 Sikhs.

The large turnout last year was on the back of several incidents of desecration of the Sikh Holy Scriptures, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the killing and brutal beatings by Punjab police of Sikhs peacefully protesting against the desecrations a few weeks earlier. Besides indiscriminate firing, police used water cannons, tear-gas, and lathi charges to disperse protesters conducting morning prayers.

It has been widely reported that the police has today been conducting raids across Punjab and have arrested or rounded up at least 1,500 Sikhs, including many of the organisers mobilising support for the Sarbat Khalsa to prevent a high turnout.

There are claims that the police has uprooted the tents the Sarbat Khalsa organisers erected for the main event and the district administration on Saturday denied permission to use the planned 63 acre site for holding the Sarbat Khalsa stating law and order concerns. An appeal has been filed in the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking permission for the Sarbat Khalsa, but it looks as though the legal hurdles and the heavy handed tactics may prevent the Sarbat Khalsa from taking place.

A spokesman for the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “We condemn in the strongest terms the Badal-BJP Punjab Government for the crackdown ahead of the Sarbat Khalsa planned for 10 November. The ruling alliance believe they are on their way out and fear all forms of opposition ahead of the assembly polls early next year. They have shown they have no respect for the tradition of holding a Sarbat Khalsa that was started by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji at times of hardship or conflict.”

Ironically one of the issues that was to have been raised and pushed by the Sikh Federation (UK) at the Sarbat Khalsa was the need for a full independent investigation in the UK following the revelation reported last Friday in The Times and Daily Mail that the UK Parliament was misled in February 2014 by David Cameron and William Hague on SAS involvement in the Sikh Genocide in the 1980s.

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