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Archive for category SIKH’S SHINING HOUR

UK Government being urged to take up Indian response to the farmers protest at UN Security Council – The Sikh Federation (UK)

UK Government being urged to take up Indian response to the farmers protest at UN Security Council

Sanctions possible as there is a serious threat to peace under Article 39 of the United Nations Charter

UK Government under pressure to demand India immediately release Jagtar Singh Johal from prison and allowed to return to his family in the UK

Monday 15 February 2021

Following the Sikh Parliamentary lobby on human rights last week all UK MPs have today been sent a detailed action note (see attached).  Preet Kaur Gill MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs following the issues raised at the lobby is expected to write to ask the Foreign Secretary for an urgent meeting. 

At the meeting with the Foreign Secretary the two key issues to be discussed will be the serious human rights violations against farmers protesting in Delhi and the need to take urgent action demanding India immediately release Jagtar Singh Johal from prison and returning him to his family in the UK.

 

 

 

  

 

Pressure on the UK Government to take tougher action on the farmers protest is increasing with growing demands for a UK Parliamentary debate and action at the UN Security Council. 

The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and is currently the Chair and will be followed by the US.  Under Article 39 of the United Nations Charter the Security Council can in country-specific situations determine the existence of a threat to peace.   

The farmers protest is seen as the world’s largest ever protest, has been continuing for months with no sign of a resolution and matters have escalated in the last couple of weeks with serious violations of human rights.   It could be argued under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations the Security Council could impose sanctions against India.  The UN Security Council can resort to sanctions as an enforcement tool when peace has been threatened and diplomatic efforts have failed.

A UK Parliamentary e-petition on the farmers protest has already had 115,000 signatures that should result in a Parliamentary debate.  An associated UK Parliamentary e-petition focused on the UK Government making strong representations directly with India, at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council condemning the widespread human rights violations against farmers, journalists and activists has been submitted and is in the process of being approved. Both petitions would be debated together by MPs in the House of Commons.

The UK Government is being pressed to raise concerns with regards to the treatment, abuse, attacks, arrests and disappearance of farmers protesting; restrictions on the internet and harassment, arrest, sexual abuse and imprisonment of journalists and activists like Nodeep Kaur a 23-year-old Dalit labour activist and Disha Ravi a 22-year old climate activist.  

The UK Government is also being asked to work with other member states and NGOs like Amnesty International. Human Rights Watch and the International Commission of Jurists who have in the last few days all condemned the Indian Government’s handling of the farmers protest. The objective is to ensure the farmers protest is discussed and actions agreed at the 46th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council from 22 February to 23 March 2021.

Over 80 MPs and Peers from all the main political parties have already signed a joint letter produced by Reprieve that will be sent to the Foreign Secretary.  The letter makes clear Jagtar Singh Johal has been held in arbitrary detention for nearly three and half years and there is a risk he could be given the death penalty.  Urgent action is therefore required from the Foreign Secretary to demand India immediately release Jagtar from prison and return him to his family in the UK. 

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

“The serious human rights violations of the Indian Government against farmers peacefully protesting to protect their families, livelihoods and very existence have been exposed to the international community.”

“The Indian Government must be held to account at the United Nations for its actions against farmers and should have no place to hide.”    

“There is also considerable pressure from UK MPs and Reprieve for the UK Government to demand India immediately release Jagtar Singh Johal from prison as it is clear he is being arbitrarily detained and should be allowed to return to his family in the UK.”

 

Harnek Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

 

Note 1:

The Sikh Federation (UK) is by far the largest, most prominent and influential campaigning Sikh organisation in the UK that leads on political engagement for the British Sikh community.  The organisation is often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.  The Sikh community in the UK and throughout the diaspora look to the organisation for leadership and direction.

Note 2:

The UK Parliamentary e-petition that has been submitted reads:

Condemn human rights violations in India associated with the farmers protest

The Government must make strong representations directly with India, at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council condemning the widespread human rights violations against farmers, journalists and activists associated with the world’s largest ever protest.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and currently holding the Chair the UK should strongly push for the application of Article 39 of the United Nations Charter to the farmers protest that states that the Security Council can in country-specific situations determine the existence of a threat to the peace. Under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations the UN Security Council can also impose sanctions to apply pressure on a State without resorting to the use of force.

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Court declares remand of British national by Delhi police unlawful by Sikh Federation

Court declares remand of British national by Delhi police unlawful

by

Sikh Federation

London – 17 January 2021

10 days earlier Delhi Police illegally took Jagtar Singh Johal from high security Tihar jail where he has been since May 2019 for 14 days of police interrogation that could have involved torture.

They took Jagtar for questioning in a new case over a fatal shooting over 200 miles away of Balwinder Singh Sandhu in Tarn Taran on 16 October 2020 although Jagtar has been in prison for more than 3 years awaiting trial in other cases. 

The security cover of Sandhu was removed by the state government a few months before his killing.

The Delhi police claim on 12 December 2020 Sukhmeet Pal Singh who was apprehended at Delhi airport upon his deportation from Dubai and in police custody disclosed that 5-6 months ago he came into contact with Jagtar Singh Johal.

 

 

Jagtar’s solicitor Jaspal Singh Manjhpur, asked how a person locked up in a high-security jail, with no visitors since the outbreak of Covid-19 can be involved in a killing in October 2020. Those held at Tihar jail are under strict surveillance 24-hours a day.

His family feared for his welfare in police custody as the Indian police have previously subjected Jagtar to third degree torture, including electrocution and had threatened to burn him alive.

Yesterday Jagtar made a personal appearance in court as correct procedures were not followed and it was declared he was unlawfully remanded by Delhi police for interrogation on 7 January 2021.  This was after his defence team submitted a petition against the 14-day remand.  The court ordered he be immediately returned from court to Tihar jail.

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

“It is the norm in India is to file another case fearing the person may be granted bail or may be released.”

The Indian authorities have provided no evidence in court over the last three years of Jaggi’s involvement in any of the cases and are worried sooner or later he will need to be released.”

“Lodging another false case that is completely fabricated and illegally taking a person into police custody who has previously been tortured is also a form of mental torture for Jagtar and his family”.

“Jagtar’s legal team should be congratulated for challenging the 14-day police remand as being excessive and having the Delhi police actions declared unlawful due to procedural flaws.”

“The UK authorities need to wake up and make sure the Indian authorities are not able to continue to treat a British citizen in this totally unacceptable way.”

 

ENDS

Harnek Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

www.sikhfeduk.com |sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk | facebook.com/Sikh Federation UK | twitter @Sikhfeduk

 

Note 1:

 

The Sikh Federation (UK) is by far the largest, most prominent and influential campaigning Sikh organisation in the UK that leads on political engagement for the British Sikh community.  The organisation is often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.  The Sikh community in the UK and throughout the diaspora look to the organisation for leadership and direction.

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UK-India relations tense as Dominic Raab under pressure to raise farmers protests and Jagtar Singh Johal case

Baba Guru Nanak University

University in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan

Description

Baba Guru Nanak University is under construction international university that is located in Nankana Sahib, Punjab, Pakistan, the birthplace of Guru Nanak. On 28 October 2019, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the University. Wikipedia

AddressNankana Sahib, Punjab, Pakistan

FoundedJanuary 2020
Campus107 acres

 

UK-India relations tense as Dominic Raab under pressure to raise farmers protests and Jagtar Singh Johal case

 

London – 15 December 2020

 

Over 100 Conservative MPs, including Ministers have been contacted since Boris’s gaffe in PMQs last week on the mistreatment of peaceful farmers protesting in India.

 

All Conservative MPs who have responded have indicated they were disappointed with Boris Johnson’s lack of awareness and response with the totally inappropriate reference to Pakistan.

 

It is understood Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary also met with Conservative MPs before he left for his 4-day trip to India and human rights violations in India, the violent reaction of police to the farmers peaceful protest and the case of Jagtar Singh Johal are understood to have been raised.

Boris Johnson is also believed to be under pressure to apologise for the farmer gaffe to Pakistan PM, Imran Khan for inappropriately mentioning Pakistan in his reply to Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi at PMQs.

 

Liberal Democrat party leader, Ed Davey also raised concerns before Dominic Raab left for India by describing the farmers legislation as controversial, the use of “militarised police” against protesters and the need to respect human rights. 

 

He urged Dominic Raab to raise these with the Indian government and make representations on the human rights situation for farmers.

 

Dominic Raab was expected to raise the farmer protests and Jagtar Singh Johal with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today.

 

Boris Johnson is expected to come under intense pressure to call off his visit to India in January for the 26 January Republic Day celebrations given the famers protests and domestic issues.

 

 

ENDS

Harnek Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

 

The Sikh Federation (UK) is by far the largest, most prominent and influential campaigning Sikh organisation in the UK that leads on political engagement for the British Sikh community.  The organisation is often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.  The Sikh community in the UK and throughout the diaspora look to the organisation for leadership and direction.

www.sikhfeduk.com |sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk | facebook.com/Sikh Federation UK | twitter @Sikhfeduk

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India’s ban on Sikhs for Justice shows it has no respect for freedom of expression and the basic right to self-determination

 

London – 11 July 2019

The decision earlier this week by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to ban Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) from operating in India shows India’s total disrespect for basic human rights and its desire and desperation to silence the Sikh Diaspora.

SFJ is a human rights advocacy group based in North America that has been highlighting human rights violations and the 1984 Sikh Genocide by the Indian state for the last 12 years and has in the last five years been underlining the right to self-determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sikhs for Justice

Sikhs for Justice

 

During the 1984 Sikh Genocide and in the decade that followed the Indian State perpetrated what can only be termed crimes against humanity.  Following the 1984 Sikh Genocide, the rape, torture, disappearances, fake encounters and extra-judicial killings of Sikhs was nothing short of Indian State terrorism.

Not content with its gross violation of human rights for over a decade the Indian authorities turned its attention by killing human rights activists in Punjab like Jaswant Singh Khalra.  He was eliminated by Indian police as he highlighted to the global community 25,000 Sikh disappearances, including unidentified bodies and illegal cremations.

The “Sacrificing Sikhs” report published in November 2017 based on around half of the UK Governments own official papers released after 30 years provides evidence the Indian State was active in the 1980s to try and silence the British Sikh voice of opposition and calls for Sikh independence that followed the 1984 Sikh Genocide. 

There is little doubt the Indian state would have tried to do the same with other foreign governments like Canada and the USA to varying degrees of success that no one has yet uncovered to the extent as in the UK.  The Sikh Federation (UK) has also in recent years become aware of some of India’s anti-Sikh activities in countries like Germany and Switzerland to try and silence Sikh opposition.  

UK politicians have confirmed in 2001 the Indian government pressured the UK Government to ban the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). The ISYF was the main Sikh organisation operating in the Sikh Diaspora highlighting human rights violations by the Indian State and advocating for an independent Sikh State.  The 9/11 act of terrorism was misused by India for its own purposes to push for worldwide restrictions on the ISYF and bans in India (December 2001) and Canada (June 2003).     

In the UK Sikhs have successfully lobbied and used the legal process to have the ban on the ISYF lifted in March 2016 and two months later to have all restrictions lifted on the ISYF across Europe.  There has been recent talk that Sikhs in Canada may be legally challenging the Canadian government to justify the continued ban on the ISYF.

The US Administration has stood up to the Indian government and never banned any Sikh organisation, but the authorities have been pressured to act against individual Sikh nationalists.  What is abundantly clear is the Indian government has been constantly complaining to foreign governments for up to 40 years about Sikhs in the Diaspora raising human rights violations in India and pressuring them not to engage with Sikh organisations and individuals advocating for the right to self-determination.  Instead, the Indian authorities have increasingly pushed with foreign governments Sikh groups, businessmen and individuals that are totally silent on criticism of India or who are pro-Indian as Sikh representatives with whom they should engage.

The Indian authorities are increasingly worried about the inroads being made by Sikhs in the Diaspora into the highest levels of the political arena in countries like Canada and the UK.  They are struggling to understand many of the Sikh politicians have been born in Canada or the UK or lived most of their lives there and are duty bound to respect human rights and act as champions for the minority Sikh community.   

As shown with Canada India has gone to extreme lengths in the last 18 months to discredit the current Canadian Prime Minister and exert pressure on the Canadian government to act against individual Sikh activists with a no-fly policy or try and demonise the entire Sikh community through official reports.  With federal elections taking place in Canada in October 2019 the Indian authorities are unashamedly approaching the opposition Conservative Party to change their position on freedom of expression and those campaigning for Sikh self-determination.

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

“We want to make clear the Indian authorities will never be able to silence the Sikh Diaspora from highlighting human rights violations and our right to self-determination.” 

“Banning Sikhs for Justice in India where it does not exist, pressuring foreign governments to take actions against Sikh nationalists and interfering in the Canadian federal elections are signs of desperation by the Indian regime.”

“Sikhs in the Diaspora are increasingly politically active and media savvy and foreign politicians will find it more and more difficult to appease the Indian authorities at the expense of their own Sikh citizens.”

“In the long run, India’s actions will backfire as foreign governments will eventually realise they have more to gain from a large independent Sikh State in the Indian sub-continent than from bowing to the blackmail of the Indian authorities.”

 

 

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

 

www.sikhfeduk.com |sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk | facebook.com/Sikh Federation UK | twitter @Sikhfeduk

 

Note 1:

 

The Sikh Federation (UK) is by far the largest, most prominent and influential campaigning Sikh organisation in the UK that leads to political engagement for the British Sikh community.  The organisation is often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.  The Sikh community in the UK and throughout the diaspora look to the organisation for leadership and direction.

 

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Sikh businesses commit to provide massive £500m injection into Pakistan Gurdwaras as Imran Khan led government make positive overtures to UK Sikhs

Sikh businesses commit to providing massive £500m injection into Pakistan Gurdwaras as Imran Khan led the government to make positive overtures to UK Sikhs

London – 10 June 2019

Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari the Chairman of the Pakistan Tourism Board and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan met Sikh community representatives at The Rembrandt Hotel in London on 10 June 2019.  The meeting was to discuss religious tourism projects in Pakistan following the historic laying of foundation stones for the Kartarpur Corridor on either side of the border in November 2018.

 

 

 

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Pakistan also announces wide arrangement for the celebration of Gurpurab

Around 100,000 Sikhs from Canada, US, Malaysia and other countries also want to visit Pakistan. Photo:tribune.com.pk

In Lahore, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) decided this year to grant visas to 10,000 Sikhs from India to participate in the 550th birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. Pakistani officials have given a green signal to Shiromani committee, the largest representatives of Sikhs, and other small groups to take part in the celebrations. After mutual consultation, the two bodies decided that the number of pilgrims, in accordance with the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, will be increased from 3,000 to 10,000. Further, there will be no restrictions on the number of Sikhs coming to Pakistan from other countries.

Pakistan will issue visas to the Shiromani community and other groups, according to the quota. All such groups will provide a list of pilgrims to EPTB; no other individual apart from these will be granted a visa. Approximately 100,000 Sikhs want to visit Pakistan from India, Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia and several other countries. However, making preparations for and ensuring the security of all attendees on such a large scale is not possible, said an EPTB senior official while speaking to Express-News. However, the final decision on the matter rests with the government and the federal interior ministry.

Although Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday is in November later this year according to the Roman calendar, the Sikh community will celebrate the occasion according to the Nanak Shahi calendar in November 2019. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf has already announced plans to issue a memorable coin commemorating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

 

The Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London supported by Peter Virdee organised the event where several significant announcements were made by Sayed Bukhari.  Many of the Sikhs that spoke congratulated the Pakistan government for the stand taken regarding not only the establishment of the Kartarpur Corridor but also other measures being taken for the 550th Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Sayed Bukhari made a series of specific commitments regarding visas for religious reasons, including the possibility of visas online and visas on arrival.  However, after being pushed on this issue during a question-answer session he said he would ensure the establishment of tourism desks in Pakistani embassies and dedicated staff to facilitate visas for those taking part in Yatras in Pakistan later this year.

He also made a specific commitment on connectivity whereby high standard free buses would connect all the main Gurdwaras in Pakistan.  Several speakers also made comments about the Pakistan authorities needing to ensure the preservation of the rich religious and national heritage of the Sikhs rather than allow renovation by some that have little or no appreciation of preservation.

A Pakistani journalist made a generous gesture of donating land for the Pakistani authorities to build accommodation near Kartarpur.  However, this was overshadowed by Peter Virdee making a huge financial commitment by announcing the setting up of a trust under the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji  رحمة الله.  He said the Peter Virdee Foundation and other business people he had discussed the project with were prepared to inject a massive £500m.  He said money was not an issue for the Sikh community as they were prepared to lay down their lives for their Gurdwaras.

The announcement concluded an excellent event with speakers alongside Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari including Peter Virdee, Gurpreet Singh Anand, Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), Preet Kaur Gill MP, Neena Gill MEP, Lord Suri, Sukhjeevan Singh, the Spokesperson for the Sikh Council UK, Dabinderjit Singh, Manvir Singh Bhogal and Justice Anup Singh.

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

www.sikhfeduk.com |sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk | facebook.com/Sikh Federation UK | twitter @Sikhfeduk

 

Note 1:

 

The Sikh Federation (UK) is by far the largest, most prominent and influential campaigning Sikh organisation in the UK that leads to political engagement for the British Sikh community.  The organisation is often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.  The Sikh community in the UK and throughout the diaspora look to the organisation for leadership and direction.

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