Posted by: Singh Is King | Saturday, August 4, 2007

Uk Parliament Condemns Indian Government’s Arrest Of Sikh Political Ac, Sikh Federation (UK) – Press Release – 26 July 2007

PRESS RELEASEThursday 26 July 2007

UK PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS INDIAN GOVERNMENT’S ARREST OF SIKH POLITICAL ACTIVISTS

Within days of the arrest of Daljit Singh Bittu and before the UK Parliament broke for the Summer, the Sikh Federation (UK) has through its political contacts tabled a motion condemning the Indian government for its detention of Simranjit Singh Mann and 20 others.

The motion makes reference to the UK Parliament’s extreme concern for the 14th May arrest and continued detention by the Indian government of 62-year-old Simranjit Singh Mann and 20 others for peacefully protesting against the erection of a statue of the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh, who was responsible for the extra-judicial killings of thousands of Sikh youths in the 1990s.

The motion continues by referring to reports that Daljit Singh Bittu, the acting President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), is being charged with sedition because of his role in the Khalsa Action Committee (KAC), an umbrella body of Sikh religious organisations, that is leading protests against the Sirsa Dera.

The motion concludes by calling upon the UK Government to press the Indian government to draw back from what many regard as a campaign of oppression of free speech and legitimate political activity.

News of the motion in the UK Parliament came at the same time Daljit Singh Bittu was remanded in police custody until 28 July and activists of the KAC staged protests near the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The KAC co-convenor Bhai Mohkam Singh condemned the arrest of Daljit Singh Bittu in the sedition case and demanded his immediate release. He said that Sikhs were holding peaceful protests to arrest the dera chief while the Punjab government was playing soft on him.

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

‘It is clear from the actions of the police and authorities that sedition is merely an excuse for Daljit Singh’s arrest as all the questioning has been about future plans against the Sirsa Dera chief.

Sikhs in the UK, Canada, USA and throughout Europe are 100% behind the Khalsa Action Committee and we will exert maximum political pressure to ensure Sikh political activists are released and have the right to free speech and political activity.

We have been in contact with UK MPs and are pushing for an immediate meeting with the UK Foreign Office due to the deteriorating situation in Panjab and the oppression of the Sikh voice of freedom.’
Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

Note 1: Early Day Motion (EDM) 2022 – ARREST OF SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN AND OTHERS IN PUNJAB reads:

That this House notes with extreme concern the arrest on 14th May 2007 and continued detention by the Indian government of 62-year-old Simranjit Singh Mann and 20 others for peacefully protesting against the erection of a statue of the former Chief Minister of Punjab, who was responsible for the extra-judicial killings of thousands of Sikh youths in the 1990s; notes that it has been reported that Daljit Singh Bittu, the acting President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), is being charged with sedition because of his role in the Khalsa Action Committee, an umbrella body of Sikh religious organisations; and calls upon the UK Government to press the Indian government to draw back from what many regard as a campaign of oppression of free speech and legitimate political activity.

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