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UK’s alleged assurance to prevent Sikh demonstration: Sikh Federation (UK) challenge UK Foreign Secretary

July 2, 2011 | By

Krishna and UK Foreign Secretary 2011London (July 01, 2011): The Foreign Secretary Rt. Hon. William Hague MP met with Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna in London on Thursday, the 30th of June. The Indian Express, a major newspaper of India, has reported the British Foreign Secretary William Hague has assured India that they will curb “anti-India demonstrations” by Sikhs. See Indian Express article titled ‘Will curb anti-India protests, UK assures Krishna’ below.

This is almost certainly a direct response to the large peaceful protest by Sikhs in June 2011 to mark the 27th anniversary of the massacre at the Golden Temple Complex and protests against the likes of Kamal Nath when the Indian High Commission also complained to the Metropolitan Police and the Foreign Office.

The Sikh Federation (UK) responded within hours of the news report appearing in India by contacting UK politicians to clarify the situation. The Federation has asked the All Party Parliamentary Group for UK Sikhs and Shadow Foreign Ministers to urgently take up the following matters with the Foreign Secretary:

i) Did the Foreign Secretary raise the case of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar at the meeting yesterday? If not, why not, given many MPs have raised the Professor’s case with the Foreign Office and this was an ideal opportunity.

ii) The Foreign Secretary / FCO must issue an urgent rebuttal against the Indian Express report that the Foreign Secretary agreed to ‘curb’ peaceful protests in the UK by the Sikh community against India.

The Sikh Federation (UK) has said it may in the next 48 hours launch a letter writing campaign from the Sangat through Gurdwaras and the Sikh media to put pressure on UK MPs to write to the Foreign Secretary to raise these issues.

Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said “we are confident that with the support of the Sangat we can get well over 150-200 MPs to write to the Foreign Secretary to get him to explain whether or not he gave assurances and to back the Sikhs rights to peacefully protest against India”.

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