July 14, 2019 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: Various Sikh organisations and a number of Gurdwara committees of England have issued statements supporting the Sikh Youth UK and its’ founder Deepa Singh.
Deepa Singh was recently arrested by the West Midlands Police (WSP). He was released a day after his arrest without any charges.
Statements issued by the National Sikh Youth Federation (NSYF), United Khalsa Dal, Naujwani, Sikh Council UK, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Satikar Committee UK, Guru Arjan Dev Ji Gurdwara (Derby), Gurdwara Shri Guru Dashmesh Sahib (Leicester), Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash (Coventry) and Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara (Leicester) have come to the notice of Sikh Siyasat News (SSN).
In its statement (copy below), the NSYF said that arrest of Deepa Singh, statements by West Midlands Police and Charities Commission and media reporting in various newspapers etc. was “premeditated and coordinated campaign shows the underlying intention of discrediting SYUK”.
STATEMENT by NATIONAL SIKH YOUTH FEDERATION (NSYF):
Statement of Support for SYUK
11 July 2019
Last week the West Midlands Police Counter Terrorism Unit (WMP) made allegations of misuse of charitable funds implicating Sikh Youth UK (SYUK). As the questionable, and futile arrests were being made the WMP simultaneously initiated a coordinated media campaign which began with WMP releasing their pre-prepared statement. This was followed by a statement from the charities commission. These statements were followed, within the hour, by stories from the Guardian, Independent, and the BBC, with much of the reporting being reproduced verbatim across these newspapers. This premeditated and coordinated campaign shows the underlying intention of discrediting SYUK, the reporting by the media was one sided, no outlet reached out to SYUK or any established Panthic Sikh organisation for comment.
The WMP continue to work to fulfil the objectives of the indian state in facilitating the repression of Sikh activists in the UK. Since the 1980s WMP, like the British state, have worked with their ally and trade partner to criminalise Sikh dissent, reproducing indian propaganda that labels Sikh martyrs and freedom fighters terrorists, and sharing information with indian forces to target Sikh activists to restrict the space Sikhs need to organise and have dialogue within a democratic society.
The British government has shown time and again that it prioritises trade over any consideration for the Sikh struggle against indian oppression and occupation, from their support for the Darbar Sahib invasion in 1984, to their negligence and ineptitude over the case of Jagtar Singh Johal, going to the extent of conducting police raids on the homes of key campaigners as a direct result of indian political pressure
The objective of the campaign against SYUK has entirely backfired as even before the outcome of any police investigation Panthic Sangat and representative community organisations have expressed their support for SYUK and its founder Deepa Singh. SYUK are answerable to the Sikh Sangat, and of their own accord SYUK organised a Panthic meeting to present their financial records, evidence relating to the income, expenditure, and the administration of SYUK. This information is available for the Sikh community to inspect. The openness and the records made available demonstrate the accountability of SYUK and undermine the approach of the police, which has had this information for over 6 months.
The valuable work that SYUK does in amplifying stigmatised voices and tackling difficult issues such as domestic violence, drug abuse, grooming, as well as their sports initiatives and Sikhi camps, is supported by Gurdwareh and the wider Sikh community throughout the UK.
The NSYF have a longstanding relationship with Deepa Singh, and the sevadaars of SYUK. We stand with SYUK and we hope Waheguru continues to take Seva from their Panth Dardi Kaurs and Singhs and keeps their Sikhs steadfast on the path of GurSikhi, so we can collectively address the needs of the community strengthening the Panth to further the dream of our Shaheeds and the Quam’s Nishaan of Khalistan.
STATEMENT by NAUJAWANI:
Statement of support for the work of Sikh Youth UK and its founder Deepa Singh
Harwinder Singh Mander, founder of naujawani
Thursday 11 July, 2019
Allegations of misuse of charitable donations made to the organisation Sikh Youth UK were made public in the last week and the related arrest of its founder was announced by West Midlands Police. Subsequently, several commentators, both Sikh and non-Sikh, utilised their channels on social media to paint a repugnant picture of the organisation, the work it carries out and its founder. Such a trial by social media is grossly unfair to say the least but has graver connotations for the Sikh community if we allow it to go unchecked.
For some years I have publicly avoided associating with organisations that tackle cases of grooming. Having experienced first-hand how such crimes were ignored by the Police and then responded to by members of the Sikh community in the 1980s and 1990s, I was sceptical that an effective counter could go on to be openly deployed with so many sensitivities prevalent in 21st Century Britain. Over the last decade when the issue gained a national platform, I remained quietly distant and indifferent.
However, this has changed as my interactions with young people who have been aided and assisted by Sikh Youth UK have grown in the last three years. I have taken time to speak privately to case workers whose names had been mentioned by victims but are understandably anonymous within the community, and I have found positive engagements each time. Having seen how the work of the organisation takes in other vital areas pertaining to the community including drug and alcohol addiction, and youth empowerment, I have tentatively added my voice and that of naujawani to those who support the work of the organisation.
Sikh Youth UK work in taboo subjects and deal with all manner of problems on a day to day basis ‘on the ground’. The manner of the arrest and the depiction of the allegations have jeopardised that work, which is of great concern for not only the Sikh community, but those who recognise that there is help available to forgotten members of our society from the criminal gangs that look to exploit them. An investigation is meant to be just that – investigative; it should not become a side show of propaganda and character assassination to serve the purpose of a political agenda. That this is occurring now when tensions between the Sikh community and the Indian state are as heightened as they have ever been, and with the continued incarceration of Scottish citizen Jagtar Singh Johal in India, is no coincidence. Sikh Youth UK have been particularly vocal in calling these injustices out.
Following last week’s arrests, prominent members of the Sikh community and stakeholders from a range of organisations were shown evidence supporting the founder’s unequivocal innocence. I was not able to attend but have spoken at length to a trusted confidante who did who elaborated on what was presented and, in this light, I have every reason to believe that the investigations will conclude that there has been no wrongdoing.
I have known Deepa Singh my entire life; his previous struggles have been well documented, and it is to his credit that he has not shied away from talking about the vices that held him back. Moreover, his desire to rectify his misdemeanours through serving the Sangat and tackling the very problems that he knows about better than most is commendable. We are all on a journey in life that only the Guru truly knows of, and with that in mind my hearty support at this time goes out to Deepa, his family, and all those who undertake work at Sikh Youth UK. Akaal Sahai.
STATEMENT by SIKH COUNCIL UK:
STATEMENT by GURU TEGH BAHADUR GURDWARA SAHIB (LEICESTER):
STATEMENT by SRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB JI SATKAR COMMITTEE UK:
STATEMENT by GURUDWARA SHRI GURU DASHMESH SAHIB (LEICESTER):
STATEMENT by GURDWARA GURU NANAK PARKASH (COVENTRY):
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Related Topics: National Sikh Youth Federation, Naujawani.Com, Sikh Diaspora, Sikh Diaspora (UK), Sikh in Leicester, Sikh News Coventry, Sikh News Leicester, Sikh News UK, Sikh Youth UK, Sikhs in Coventry, Sikhs in United Kingdom