LONDON, UK—Following statement was issued by the Sikh Council UK earlier today condemning the attack on Sikh preacher Bhai Amrik Singh Chandigarh. President of the Southall Park Avenue Gurdwara Bhai Gurmail Singh Malhi has also condemned the attack. He has extended his apology to Bhai Amrik Singh and sought end to such attacks in Gurdwaras across the UK.
Statement by Sikh Council UK and Bhai Gurmail Singh Malhi –
Sikh Council UK condemns the attack on Amrik Singh Chandigarh at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Southall yesterday. He was physically attacked and his dastar (turban) was knocked off his head. He had been scheduled to undertake katha (religious discourse/ exegesis) but was prevented from doing so following objections from a group of Sikhs.
Secretary General of Sikh Council UK Jagtar Singh said, “This was completely unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest terms. There is no excuse for this behaviour regardless of any differences of interpretations of Sikh doctrine or history and it goes against the basic tenets of the Sikh faith as practiced by the Sikh Gurus who laid down their lives in defence of the right of others to freely practice their faith.”
He added “Incidents like this are particularly damaging when we are working hard to further enhance legal protections for the dastar and kakkars raising awareness of its importance to Government and the wider community. We will be taking up the matter with the relevant parties and I am making a heartfelt appeal to all Sikhs and Sikh organisations to work collectively to prevent these incidents occurring.”
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Southall President and Sikh Council UK Executive Member Gurmail Singh Malhi said “I am extremely disappointed over what has occurred and have expressed my regret to Bhai Amrik Singh personally. It is not acceptable for anyone to remove the dastar of another Sikh especially in a Gurdwara and this cannot happen again. Where there are issues or differences these should be discussed in a respectful and peaceful manner. At the same time all Sikh parcharaks should seek to avoid raising issues from Gurdwara stages which may cause controversy”.
Meanwhile, a video has been shared with Sikh24 which shows Baba Charan Singh of self-proclaimed “Dharamyudh morcha” instigating the attack on Bhai Amrik Singh. Baba Charan Singh has issued provocative statements in past, instigating fights within the Sikh community. Sikh24 had earlier published an Op/Ed exposing his ties with anti-Sikh organizations.