LONDON—The Sikh Lives Matter movement held a large protest here today in front of the Indian Embassy, which numbered in the thousands. The initial protest was peaceful—with Sikhs demanding human rights and justice in India—but according to most witnesses, due to heavy handed police tactics, it turned violent. The protests come after numerous Sikhs have been detained, beaten, tortured and killed by police and paramilitary forces in the Indian state of Punjab.
London Metropolitan Police had advance notice of the protest and were aware of the issues.
When the protesters started arriving outside the Indian Consulate office, there were no barriers placed by the police. As the protesters started coming in, they sat down in front of the embassy. The organizers had planned to keep the protest as a “sit-down”, similar to the ones taking place in India where protesters sit down peacefully for hours on major roads and highways while meditating and praying. Due to the lack of road barriers which are usually installed by the police beforehand, a large flow of protesters ended up right in front of the embassy. Police seemed intimidated as they were not prepared to handle such a large group of protesters.
Eye-witnesses report that police began to surround and close in on the protesters, including families. They moved in with exaggerated force, including riot police, batons and 8-10 horse mounted officers. Even after these horses marched into crowds of women and children, Sikhs remained largely peaceful, but pushed the police lines back.
At this point, say numerous sources, officers snatched the venerated Sikh flags, known as Nishan Sahibs and broke them. The Nishan Sahib is a triangular flag, usually made of orange coloured cotton or silk cloth. The word Nishan means symbol or emblem. It is considered to be the emblem of the Sikh peoples and also serves as a spiritual marker of Sikh identity and philosophy. The Nishan Sahib is so ingrained in the Sikh religion that it is remembered every day in the Sikh prayers.
Police officers were seen throwing broken Nishan Sahibs on the ground, which is a huge sign of disrespect. Our eye witnesses, as most Sikhs would be, were shocked and appalled at this lack of respect for Sikh sentiments and heavy handed attitude.
Mr. Jasveer Singh Gill of the Sikh Press Association said, “Some protesters were walking into the road where they were not supposed to be, but it is unfortunate that the police decided to respond to that with a lot of aggression…I saw with my own eyes, the Nishan Sahib…being snatched from one person and broken by a police officer. There is no need for that.”
As aggressive officers forced their way in, they were trampling on sitting protesters, which further aggravated the situation. Many were fearful of injury from the horses and riot gear. Despite commitments and orders from Chief Inspector Nick Collins that no officer would attempt to remove Sikh Articles of faith, Sikh turbans and Kirpans were forcibly removed by police offices without provocation.
At this point community leaders called to the police to allow women and children to leave the penned in area, but the police did not allow this until approximately two hours later. Mr Gill, “Women and children were being shoved…I understand the police have a job to do, but these are provocative actions.”
Reports also say that three young teenage girls and boys were pinned against a bus by up to fifteen officers and were treated without dignity. These youngsters had their Kirpans removed where there was no need, after all groups had been dispersed.
The Chief inspector Nick Collins failed to note two serious complaints of police aggression, assault and denial of human rights, even after witnessing these himself.
The police were prepared to allow the situation to escalate and arrest more people without any consideration to Sikh religious sentiments.
Murtaza Ali Shah of Geo news tweeted “Police overreacts at the #SikhLivesMatter demonstration. Thousands protesting against bias in India, want justice”
Chaz Singh, a Sikh councillor from Plymouth condemned the “overreaction” by the Met Police. “HUGE over reaction by @metpoliceuk @MetPoliceEvents at peaceful protest by #Sikhs #SikhLivesMatter“
UPDATE 10PM GMT: Sikh24 reached out to the Met Police and confirmed that twenty protesters were arrested, but are unable to confirm how many were released. When asked further questions, the police said, “We are unwilling to comment any further at this point beyond what is on our website.”
RSS/Modi is basically engineering a crisis in Punjab together with Zionists/International Bankers/UK. He will start by slowly killing some innocent Sikhs, then Sikhs will have no choice but to fight back, Indian media will portray Sikhs as terrorists, which will justify a full-blown attack on all Sikhs.
That’s why he’s busy flying around the world making trade deals with Western countries; it’s less about India’s “development”, it’s really about buying silence from the rest of the world by paying them off.
Sikhs will have no choice but to flee Punjab and migrate to other countries just like the crisis in Syria. This will probably start in 1-2 years. Modi’s “all-Hindu India” dream will be set into motion with the Sikhs gone.
Hindus will celebrate, declare him a national hero, and re-elect him for another 5 years.
Stop making provocative assumptions. Modi has immense respect for Sikhs, during the emergency period declared by Indra Gandhi in the 70s he escaped and saved his life by being dressed as a Sikh, something he is grateful for to this day. And India is the only country in the world who is allies with Iran (shia), Saudi Arabia (sunni) and Israel (zionist) all at the same time and not siding with only one despite these countries being regional rivals of each other. Yes it is a Democratic right to protest peacefully and yes Punjab Police was wrong for the firing, but on whose orders did they fire? Modi’s? No. They heeded Sikh leader Badal. And now it also has been revealed the culprits of the Beadbi were from the Sikh community themselves, so we cannot point fingers at Modi or his RSS as this is a purely Sikh natter orchestrated by members of our community. As they say “Ghar ka Vibishan Lanka daiye” if you can understand what it implies
Please stop this non-sense!! Why Sikhs are behaving like Muslims. India is our country and we should be proud of that.
Don’t be such fundamentalist. Ye na hoye ki Saada haal vi muslmana varga ho jaye.
Focus to contributing to your nation whether India or UK and earn your respect. Don’t start protesting for no good reason.
Pls understand they were just protesting not there for a combat fight. Why is Sikh people facing this trouble. Well we were ones good rulers and now were are scared of every single action we take. One thing stop helping people and do what your community want. Be the community leader. Sikh Sikh nu ma mare Sikh kaun kaday na haree. So see the power inside u. Belive in one self stop this going here there nare bazi. Start doing some home work on high ground like leaders should come forward first and then public. Because in colonal rule public have no importance. Remember u public decide the gov. But think twice and act wise.
What a dumb comment. And no India is not our country, we had our own country. India took our land in 1947 when our country of punjab was divided, we deserve our land back.
RS – YOU ARE ABOSLUTELY RIGHT!!
Look we all know that this government is in with India – UK wants to make an impression on Modi……
When ever in England do you see Riot Police for any protests – this was a deliberate act to keep the Sikhs down but they should read their history that Sikhs will fight back and will win. Unfortunate I did not attend this protest – Well done to those who did. This action was pre-planned four days notice was given to police but no arrangements could be made than just for the overlow of people they marched in with riot police on horses – tell me is this fair! Are we in India or are we in England?
Zionists/International Banking syndicate collaborating with Modi to create tension in Punjab. It’s a win-win situation for both of them.
This isn’t just all happening by coincidence.
My guess is a few “terrorist attacks” in Punjab will be staged, innocent people will be hunted down and killed by Punjab Police, and violence will escalate with Sikhs fighting back, which will escalate into a full-blown crisis. This will give Modi the excuse to finally wipe out Sikhs entirely from Punjab and complete his RSS dream.
Sikhs will be forced to flee India to foreign counties, much like Syrian refugees.
Sikhs shall never ever be wiped out. There is something in the blood that keeps Sikhs on this Earth, especially in punjab.
The officers involved should be arrested with immediate effect. The prime minister should make a public apology to the sikhs. The officers should be put behind bars and given 24 strokes of the whip.