UK: 24 University Sikh Societies Issue Statement in Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa’s Support

LONDON, UK—In an unprecedented show of unity, 24 UK University Sikh Societies across UK have issued a collective statement regarding the lack of media coverage on the stand made by Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa.

Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa is on hunger protest since January 16, 2015, seeking release of prisoners who have completed their sentences.  He is asking that prisoners who have completed their sentences be released at once.  In addition, Bapu Ji has called for release of elderly political prisoners on humanitarian basis.

Bapu Surat Singh is currently detained at the DMC hospital in Ludhiana, Punjab, where he is being force fed.  As per latest reports, he is heaving difficulty breathing and has swollen knees.  No mainstream media have provided coverage to his struggle, or his forceful detentions and torture by the police.

Following is the text of the press release issued collectively by 24 Sikh Societies in UK –

We, the Presidents of twenty-four University Sikh Societies, are writing this letter on behalf of thousands of Sikh students from across the UK. We are deeply concerned that the media in this country is not covering the peaceful protest of Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa.

Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa is an 82 year-old Sikh activist who has been on hunger strike since 16th January 2015. He is campaigning for the release of Sikh political prisoners who have served their sentence but are still being imprisoned, some of whom were originally convicted under the controversial Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA).

We are sad to see that there has been little or no media coverage on an individual who has clearly taken a remarkable stand to champion the human rights of these prisoners. He is now into the eleventh month of his hunger strike and has remained resolute, he will not eat until these prisoners are released. This concern for the welfare of his fellow citizens has resulted in his health reaching a critical state and he is currently being cared for in an Advanced Cardiac Department.

We implore you to investigate this campaign and cover it across your news channels so that the world hears about his protest. Sikh Societies from across the country will be holding awareness campaigns at their respective universities. We invite you to engage with us so that you may learn what drives our community to support Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa.

Please send your response to this letter via email to our Nishaan address, [email protected] We will ensure that this is communicated with the University Sikh Society Presidents who have signed this letter below. For your reference, Nishaan is an Inter-University Sikh Society network and has coordinated this collective statement (www.nishaan.net).

Yours faithfully,

Imperial College London Sikh Society
University of Birmingham Sikh Society
Queen Mary University of London Sikh Society
University of Keele Sikh Society
University College London Sikh Society
University of Leicester Sikh Society
University of Westminster Sikh Society
University of Leeds Sikh Society
City University Sikh Society
Cardiff University Sikh Society
King’s College London Sikh Society
Strathclyde University Sikh Society
London School of Economics Sikh Society
Brunel University Sikh Society
SOAS University of London Sikh Society
Anglia Ruskin University
University of Hertfordshire Sikh Society
Aston University
Kingston University London Sikh Society
St George’s, University London Sikh Society
University of Oxford Sikh Society
University of Warwick Sikh Society
University of Medway Sikh Society
Royal Holloway Sikh Society

 

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