British Sikhs shocked why lives of thousands of Sikhs protesting in London put at risk by the Met Police

File Photo: UK Sikhs

Outrageous admission by Met Police Commissioner that 34 years later those in Delhi appear to be still pulling the strings in London

LONDON, UK—On Sunday 3 June 2018 thousands of Sikhs, young and old from across the UK gathered in central London for the annual protest against the 1984 Sikh Genocide, remember the thousands killed by the Indian authorities 34 years ago, for which there has been no justice and demand a separate Sikh homeland, Khalistan.

For the first time the Metropolitan Police simply failed to turn up to stop traffic to safely manage the protest march between Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square. There was considerable disruption to the start of the protest march before our own stewards and Sikh youth took matters into their own hands to close roads and risk themselves by putting their bodies between the ongoing traffic and the protest march.

Stewards and protesters were unnecessarily put at risk, especially families with young children and the elderly. Dozens of MPs are understood to have written to complain to the Met Police Commissioner following letters from Sikh constituents upset and dismayed with the lack of policing.

Initially the Sikh Federation (UK) as one of the main organisers put this down to police negligence and incompetence and wrote to the Mayor of London and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner on 4 June demanding an apology and an urgent meeting to make sure this never reoccurs at this annual event.

Three weeks after the initial letter the Sikh Federation (UK) has written again to the Mayor and Commissioner stating whilst they had received acknowledgements on 12 June stating they were looking into the concerns raised no apology had been forthcoming and no dates set for a meeting.

On 25 June Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) wrote:

“On 12 June we also had a letter from Chief Superintendent Elaine Van-Orden, the OCU Commander for the Public Disorder Branch who we understand oversees the policing of all events in London. She said the matter had been passed onto her to review the full circumstances surrounding the planning of our event and that it would take ‘a few days to carry out this review’ to get a thorough understanding of all the issues prior to a meeting at a mutually convenient date.”

“It has now been almost two weeks since that letter and more than the ‘few days’ requested to get a thorough understanding. Many in the community are asking questions and why an apology has not been forthcoming and meeting dates agreed. We know life-threatening mistakes were made and an immediate apology from the Metropolitan Police having quickly established the facts would have been sensible.”

In another more sinister development the Sikh Federation (UK) has obtained a letter from the Commissioner, Cressida Dick received last week by Preet Kaur Gill MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs and the MP for Birmingham Edgbaston that has a sizeable Sikh community.

The letter states the matter has been sent to Commander Jane Connors, Public Order for her consideration. However, the Sikh Federation (UK) were shocked to read the Commissioner also discloses “Commander Connors is also in contact with the Indian High Commission to discuss the policing of this event”.

The Sikh Federation (UK) has written to the Commissioner to state:

“We fail to understand the need to consult the Indian High Commission before getting back to us on the policing for this peaceful event considering it poses no threat to their offices in the Aldwych, as the event starts with a gathering in Hyde Park and the protest march is to Trafalgar Square where it ends in a rally. We can only worryingly conclude they (Indian authorities) unacceptably influenced the lack of policing or support from the MPS this year.”

“Due to this disclosure we are keen to establish the exact role of the Indian High Commission in influencing the policing of the event this year and would welcome clarity on the precise contact between the Metropolitan Police and the Indian High Commission this year.”

An FOI request has gone to the Metropolitan Police demanding all correspondence or communications concerning the Remembrance March and Freedom Rally held in central London on 3 June 2018, especially any correspondence or communications with the Indian High Commission in London, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office.

There is speculation that the delay in issuing an apology and setting up a meeting weeks later is the Metropolitan Police do not know how to respond to the Mayor of London, the Sikh community and MPs from all political parties that have written.

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

“In the Sacrificing Sikhs report we commissioned and published on 1 November 2017 we show using the government’s own papers the extent to which India in the 1980s influenced the very top of the British establishment while the 1984 Sikh Genocide was taking place.”

“The report showed the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, the Foreign Secretary, the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner all played to the tune of the Indian government. This latest revelation suggests little has changed and lessons have not been learnt.”

“We suspect the ‘cock-up’ this year may go to the heart of government with Ministers at the Foreign Office and Home Office implicated. We suspect the delay with an apology and meeting is due to an internal blame game and getting their ducks in order.”

“Did the Indian High Commission mislead the MPS, Home Office and Foreign Office by telling them their agents and contacts were at work to disrupt the event so the turnout would be lower and did they demand there was no need to police the event?”

“The British authorities must listen to the concerns of its own law-abiding British Sikh community and not pander to the wishes of the corrupt Indian regime that demonstrates on a daily basis it has no respect for the basic human rights of women and minorities that we take for granted in this country.”


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