Sikhs Raises Awareness in Glasgow – ‘State Violence in Punjab Will Not be Tolerated’

Glasgow Awareness

GLASGOW, UK—300 Sikhs from across Scotland rallied in Glasgow’s iconic George Square, making their voices heard loud and clear: State violence in India must end.

On the anniversary of the Delhi 1984 Sikh Genocide, Scotland’s Sikhs continued the momentum of the global #SikhLivesMatter movement, spawned after worldwide outrage from shocking scenes of police brutality on Sikhs in Punjab.

On the morning of 14th October 2015, Punjab Police used lethal force and fired live bullets against groups of peaceful Sikh demonstrators while they undertook a peaceful demonstration in Kotkapura, Punjab. This demonstration was due to the inaction of police to investigate an attack on a Sikh Gurdwara and the desecration of the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib.

The police used batons and water cannons on the crowds of women and men.They opened fire with live ammunition and killed two unarmed Punjabis; Kishan Singh, 45, of Niami Wala village and Gurjit Singh, 27 of Sarawan village, reportedly gone to give food to the demonstrators. Dozens others were injured.

For decades, these incidents of state terror have been directed at Punjab and its people. The #SikhLivesMatter movement has galvanised Sikhs globally and reignited a fight for justice. It is notable that coverage of the killings by UK media only occurred when Jagmeet Singh, a British Sikh, interrupted a live BBC show to raise the issue.  

Speaking at the Unity Rally, Charandeep Singh, General Secretary of Glasgow Gurdwara, said:

“Sikhs in Scotland are seriously worried about the state violence in Punjab, particularly in the same month, 31 years ago, when the streets of Delhi were covered in the blood of Sikhs in the 1984 genocide.

Glasgow Awareness1

“As a community, we are unsure whether the safety and security of Punjab can be guaranteed by an Indian State intent on flouting basic human rights practice. The community in Scotland is alert to the situation and this rally is just one step we are taking to elevate these incidents. Of note, Prime Minister Modi is visiting the UK in the next week and we want to ensure David Cameron and other political leaders raise this case.”

Naomi MacAuliffe, Director, Amnesty Scotland said:

“”The authorities in India must initiate a full, prompt and impartial criminal investigation into all allegations of human rights abuses related to protests in Punjab in recent weeks.

“Any police official suspected of using unnecessary or excessive force must be prosecuted. If, as alleged, there were incidents of violence by protestors then this should be investigated but it does not justify the use of excessive, lethal force by police.”

Sandra White (Member of Scottish Parliament) added:

“The injustice which has been perpetrated on the Sikhs in the Punjab cannot be allowed to continue. I will be raising this issue through the Scottish Parliament so that we can raise our voice for the protection of human rights.”




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