Wednesday, 13 February 2013





12 February 2013

The Sikh Federation (UK) has written to UK Prime Minister, David Cameron ahead of his planned visit to India next week.

The letter and other communications by the Sikh Federation (UK) with Ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have urged David Cameron to raise UK and EU opposition to the death penalty in India.

The opposition to the death penalty has also been raised with French President, Francois Hollande who will be visiting Delhi on February 14-15. This visit will be followed by David Cameron who is also expected to pay his respects at the Harmander Sahib Complex in Amritsar.

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

The UK and France are two of the five Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council opposed to the death penalty. They are expected to voice their concerns in person with the Indian authorities about the worrying and backward trend of the reintroduction of hangings with two in the last three months.

The letter from Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), to David Cameron states:

The British Sikh community along with many others were alarmed to learn about the latest hanging in India on Saturday. That makes it two hangings in three months and there are worrying signs India has permanently moved backwards as regards the abolition of the death penalty.

The latest hanging is highly provocative and suggests India is signalling a challenge to over 110 nations, including all EU countries, which have rightly turned their back on the barbaric use of the death penalty.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has had much correspondence from MPs representing the Sikh community about the plight of Balwant Singh Rajoana and Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar in recent years and we fear the politics in India at the present time will mean they could easily go to the gallows in the next few weeks.

We understand you will be in India next week and are also likely to visit the Harmander Sahib (Golden Temple) Complex and sincerely hope you will not shy away from publicly condemning India for carrying out two hangings in the last three months and urge them to immediately reinstate the moratorium against the death penalty.

In addition, the Sikh Federation (UK) has written to Baroness Stern as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Abolition of the Death Penalty and communicated with Fabian Hamilton MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for UK Sikhs urging them to also write to David Cameron.

Khalsa Human Rights, the human rights wing of the Sikh Federation (UK) has also issued a letter that can be sent to MPs and MEPs to try and stop the imminent hanging of Professor Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and Balwant Singh Rajoana. Gurdwaras have been urged to get Sangat to sign these letters in large numbers as soon as possible and send to MPs. The Sikh Federation (UK) has also set in motion activities at the European Parliament in Brussels and at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Living Martyr title bestowed to Bhai Balwant Singh

Amritsar, June 6

The Sikh high priests today bestowed the title of ‘Zinda Shaheed’ (living martyr) on Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of Operation Bluestar at the Akal Takht here.

The clergy led by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh presented a plaque, a shawl, a ‘siropa’ and a sword to Bibi Kamaldeep Kaur, Rajoana’s sister, who received the title on his behalf. However, the title was not conferred in the main ceremony, but a couple of hours before it.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Sikh Channel YOUTH Discussion Show dispelling the opinion that Sikh Campaigns are branded "militant" and aggressive. Broadcast on 26 April 2012.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Delegation meet British PM over death row inmate
Former Leicester South MP Parmjit Singh Gill

A delegation has visited Downing Street to seek support for a campaign against the execution of a prisoner in India.
Former Leicester South MP Parmjit Singh Gill and Sital Singh Gill, general secretary of the Indian Workers Association in Leicestershire, spoke to David Cameron about the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana.
He is on death row in Punjab for his role in the 1995 murder of then state chief minister Beant Singh, who was killed by suicide bomber Dilawar Singh.
Rajoana was convicted of acting as back-up suicide bomber, should Singh have failed.
He has not appealed against the sentence, though other conspirators have had the death penalty commuted.
Mr Singh Gill said: "It was a very worthwhile and constructive trip to London.
"David Cameron listened to us and seemed very supportive.
"He made it absolutely clear that the UK was opposed to the death penalty."
The Leicester pair also discussed their fight with Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes.
The Indian Workers Association is to follow up the meeting by writing to the Prime Minister, urging him to put pressure on the Indian government to abolish the death penalty.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Gurdaspur Firing Victim’s Kin Seek Time To Record Statement
Amritsar, Punjab: The family members of Jaspal Singh, an engineering student who was killed in police firing on March 29 following which curfew was imposed in the city, have sought time till April 25 to record their statements in front of the inquiry commission probing the incident.
Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner Anurag Verma, who is looking after the probe, said the victim’s father, Gurcharanjit Singh, wanted to record his statement in the presence of a senior Supreme Court lawyer, Navkiran Singh. The inquiry report has to be submitted to the state government within a month.

Senior officials, including Mohinder Singh Kainth and Varinder Pal Singh, former Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner and Senior Superintendent of Police, respectively, have already recorded their statements.
Varinder Pal claimed the circumstances flared to such an extent that police was left with no option but to fire in the air to control the surging mob of Sikh activists. He, however, said the bullet that hit Jaspal Singh was not fired by any police official.
The statements of suspended DSP Manpreet Singh, the then SHO of Gurdaspur (City) police station Shama Singh, ASI Ajvinder Singh and Naib Tehsildar JP Salwan, who was the acting magistrate when the firing took place, were also recorded.
The deceased’s father wondered as to why the police did not use tear gas shells prior to actual firing even if in the air. “Police could have given a warning to the mob to disperse if it was feared that the situation may spin out of control. But, they started firing without any warning,” Gurcharanjit said.

United Sikhs writes to UK PM for support against Rajoana’s death penalty

London, UK
United Sikhs handed the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, a letter on Monday asking him to call on India to abolish the death penalty and to free Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is facing the death penalty.
“Bhai Balwant Singh has already served 17 years behind bars for his role in the political assassination of the former Chief Minister of Panjab, who he held responsible for the torture, kidnap and killing of innocent Sikh youths in the 90s,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, United Sikhs legal director, in the letter that was handed to the Prime Minister on Monday during a Vasakhi reception at his official residence at No. 10 Downing Street, which was attended by more than 200 UK Sikhs.
United Sikhs brought to the PM’s attention Amnesty International’s report on human rights violations in Panjab at the following link.
The PM was informed that Sikhs in the UK have signed petitions addressed to their MPs and MEPs asking them to intervene, to stop the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana. UNITED SIKHS also reminded the PM about the continuing challenges to religious freedom globally, especially in the aftermath of 9/11.
“We congratulate you for declaring that there is a place for religion in the public place, even though it is a private matter,” Mejindarpal Kaur said to the Prime Minister whilst handing the letter, after presenting an oil painting by a volunteer, an artist trained at the renowned Slade School of Art (London) of a Sikh doing prayers during ishnaan (holy dip) in the Sarovar at Darbar Sahib, Amritsar. The Prime Minister was also presented a book titled ‘The Golden Temple of Amritsar, published by a social enterprise company, Kashi House.
“Since the Vasakhi of 1699, initiated Sikhs are mandated to wear the five Kakaar (or 5 Ks) (articles of faith) – Kesh (unshorn hair covered by a turban), Kirpan, Kangga and Kecchaera.
If a nation’s borders define its physical boundary, a Sikh, a member of a nation without borders, is defined by his/her identity. Any transgression of this is an attack on his/her being,” Mejindarpal added in the letter that highlighted, amongst others, the following three issues concerning the wearing of Kakaar in the UK :
·         Sikh students continue to be denied their right to wear the Kirpan in many schools even though there is a specific defense in the Offensive Weapons Act for the wearing of the Kirpan in schools.
·         Sikh prison officers and Sikh lawyers/legal officers on legal visits are not allowed to wear their Kirpan, even though PSO 4550 permits a Sikh chaplain to wear a Kirpan. This is despite a recommendation to approve the wearing of the Kirpan by prison staff following a comprehensive consultation that was carried out in 2008 by the National Offender Management Service (“NOMS”), an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice. This recommendation was reversed by a subsequent director general of NOMS.
·         Sikhs travelling through European airports continue to be humiliated and harassed by the indiscriminate removal of their turbans ever since the implementation of EU regulation 185/ 2010, which prohibits the use of hand held scanners as a primary screening technique in favour of mandatory hand searches. We thank your government for standing up for Sikhs and conducting an 18 months trial (ending in mid Aug 2012) to see if security could be achieved by not applying Reg 185 at 22 UK airports. We request your government to take the lead in Europe of by recommending that Para 4.1.17 of the reg 185n could be used to exempt Sikhs from arbitrary removal of their turbans.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Supreme Court reserves verdict on Bhullar’s plea
20 April 2012
Chandigarh: The judgment on Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s plea for life imprisonment was reserved by the Supreme Court on Thursday. He was awarded death penalty for a bomb attack on the then Youth Congress president MS Bitta in 1993.
An order was passed by the SC bench in lieu to the pleadings that Bhullar be spared from the gallows as he had virtually undergone life sentence due to the long delay in the rejection of his mercy plea. The Centre had opposed his plea, earlier.
The Centre was directed by the SC bench to have a timeframe for deciding mercy petitions. The additional solicitor-general sought three months for getting the government’s response to the suggestion.
The delay in mercy petitions against death sentences has affected people’s faith in the government’s ability to maintain law and order on such matters, court stated.
Bhullar’s wife had approached the SC seeking commutation of the death sentence on several grounds including his mental ailment. The 1993 bomb attack in Delhi had killed nine security personnel while 25 persons including Bitta were injured.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Superintendant of Patiala Jail Issued with Contempt of Court Notice

Superintendent of Patiala Jail, Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar, on Mon day sought more time from a local court to file his reply in the contempt of court notice issued against him for not following court orders regarding the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted in the Beant Singh assassination.
Jakhar, who was accompanied by his counsel and Additional Advocate General A S Grewal, sought more time from the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Shalini S Nagpal to file his reply. The matter will now come up for hearing on April 25.

The court had issued notice to Jakhar on March 27, asking him to explain why proceedings under the Contempt of Court Act should not be initiated against him. He was supposed to file his reply on Sunday.

The court order had stated, “The Superintendent of Central Jail, Patiala, has not once, but on two occasions refused to execute the warrants of sentence of death by way of written communication dated March 19 and March 24. The publications intend to interfere with the due course of judicial proceedings, obstruct the administration of justice and also loswer the authority of the court.”

Monday, 16 April 2012

IMPORTANT - Share the Below Video about Gurdaspur Kand 2012

Courtesy of Sikh Youth Project

Sikh Leaders Released From Ludhiana Jail

LUDHIANA: During the Punjab bandh declared by various Sikh organizations protesting against the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a co-accused in the Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case, many radical Sikh leaders were arrested. SAD (Delhi) leader Jaswinder Singh Baliyewal, Pardeep Singh Gosha, Akali Dal Panch Pardhani Chairman Daljeet Singh Bittu were released by the Punjab government on Sunday after they refused to get their bail orders issued themselves.Sikh leaders released from Central Jail Ludhiana
The release of these leaders was welcomed by the Sikh community and many supporters had gathered around the Central Jail situated on Tajpur road to welcome them. The released leaders said that their release is a victory of the Sikh community who refused to bow down before the Badal government.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Interview with Bhai Ranjit Singh

Interview by Sangat Tv with Bhai Ranjit Singh who was shot and beaten by Punjab Police during Gurdaspur Kand 2012

Follow Up Letter To Your MP and MEP

Courtesy of Glasgow Sikhs

Please send the follow up letter to your MP and MEP via about the sustained attack on Sikh Human Rights in India:

Download PDF version of letter

Download WORD version of letter

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

-          Dr. Martin Luther King, 16th April 1963


Sustained attack on Sikhs human rights in India

I write to inform you of the abandonment of human rights protection afforded to Sikhs across India. This is perhaps most starkly portrayed in the state of Punjab, where a mass of violations has occurred, and continues to do so, over the last 50 years. Although there are a catalogue of instances where such incidents have occurred, they are unfortunately not considered newsworthy; a worrying trend that shall be addressed later. During any long running campaign, there are spikes which occur. In the one being perpetrated against Sikhs, the most recent was the farcical decision to enforce the death penalty against Balwant Singh Rajoana. This letter shall address the Balwant Singh case before moving on to explore the persecution faced by Sikhs in general, detailing the most severe of the human rights infringements, showing the troubling trends which appear to be cyclical in nature, with no end in sight to these contraventions.

Balwant Singh was imprisoned and sentenced to death for involvement in a murder case in 1995. Despite the unnaturally long term of incarceration, he was scheduled to be executed on 31st March 2012, some 17 years after being convicted. Such time delays are a common occurrence when dealing with Sikh prisoners in India, and has been criticised by Amnesty International[1]. This policy of detention for an extended period time is clearly a breach of the right to a fair trial provision enshrined in Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Although not binding, the UDHR is set as a guideline for all members of the UN as a barometer for gauging bare minimum thresholds of human rights protection. Case law around the globe has deemed that keeping inmates on death row for any extended periods of time amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment[2]. Of course, the barbarity of the death penalty is obvious and many jurisdictions have expressed disgust at the practice.[3]

Right to a Fair Trial & Right to Liberty

In the past twenty years, India has gone as far as to amend its legal system in a crude attempt to legitimise its morally repugnant actions. For example, the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Act allowed for the detention of a person merely on suspicion, a dossier compiled by Jaswant Singh Khalra discovered, through the examination of municipal records, that 3 000 Sikhs were arbitrarily arrested and never seen again.[4] Similarly, under draconian laws such as the National Security Act, persons were liable to be detained for up to a year without charge if found at the scene of a crime.[5]

Prohibition of Torture

Torture has been well known for decades to be an unreliable method of gathering intelligence, despite this fact, the State’s machinery in India have employed it almost as a de facto method of dealing with Sikh prisoners. Amnesty have informed of hundreds of people being arrested and routinely tortured during interrogation.[6] The witness reports are both tragic and disturbing, and although unpleasant, one has been included in order that the desperate reality of the victims of such actions is conveyed.

...the Senior Superintendent beat a Sikh youth with an iron rod, then he suddenly turned to her and struck her with the rod across the stomach. He rained blows on her stomach until she began to bleed through her vagina...Next morning she was taken to the factory Beiko again, her legs were cut open and chillies were pasted into her wounds, followed by further beating. With her legs crippled by rollers, she was molested and threatened with death.”[7]

Thousands of similarly harrowing victim reports are available from, each repulsive recollection of their experiences crystallising the fact that such actions are commonplace in Punjab, and India when dealing with Sikhs.

Rape is an extension of torture, and has similarly been employed relentlessly in cases involving Sikhs and the Indian State.[8] Well known underground operations were carried out by members of the security forces, whether they were rogue elements or not is unclear, due to the State’s blanket refusal to open any independent investigation into these most egregiously haunting claims[9]. Anecdotal evidence from both victims and retired members of the Security forces has filtered through and there has been repeated mention of “Operation Shudi Karan” (literally meaning to straighten out, or to purify), which is code used to refer to the mass rape of Sikh women.[10] Despite India being a signatory to The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and thus bound by Article 7[11], case law shows that custodial rape is rampant in India[12]

Right to Life

Perhaps the most sacrosanct human right is the very right to life. Every democratic state in the world in one way or another considers this to be true. It is somewhat unfortunate then, the largest democracy in the world, India, has gone as far as to alter its Constitution, allowing for the suspension of its right to life commitment under Article 21, as it has done on more than one occasion in the State of Punjab in recent history. Indeed, the State allows its Agents to indulge in whatever acts they choose. This includes the abduction of human rights activists such as Jagwinder Singh and Jaswant Singh Khalra, both of whom had chosen to speak out about the atrocities being committed as commonplace. Their actions resulted in both being abducted by officers of the police force disguised as civilians and them never being seen alive again. [13] Despite reports from human rights watchdogs stating that the state was inflicting “violence”, “targeted enforced disappearances”, “extra judicial executions” and “large scale lethal human rights violations”[14] the right to life for Sikhs in India, is nothing more than a decorative bauble adorning a crippled and corrupt legal system, designed to afford the State impunity from accountability. The most recent example being that of Jaspal Singh, an 18 year old college student killed on 29th March 2012 whilst campaigning against the death penalty imposed on Balwant Singh Rajoana when the police opened fire on the unarmed protestors with no legitimate cause, in contravention of the laws of the land.

Freedom of Expression

Despite the regularity of such occurrences, little is heard of them, due to the latest media blackout imposed across the whole of Punjab, by the State. Again, this is a tactic that is routinely fallen back on when the State finds its oppressive practices under the uncomfortable scrutiny of international spotlight. In 1984, during Operation Bluestar, all media agencies, domestic and international were expelled from Punjab prior to the attack on the central Sikh place of worship Harmandir Sahib and 40 other Gurdwaras. It is lamentable that in 2012, we find the same brutish methods being employed in a desperate attempt by officials to escape rebuke for its shameless actions.

The preceding paragraphs are but a mere drop in an ocean of blood that is dripping from the hands of the State of India, however horrific, these are merely extracts of daily occurrences. As such, I would once again urge you to liaise with your peers to raise the concerns outlined in this letter. Furthermore I would ask for you to lobby the institution of which you are a member and demand that the Indian government stop committing atrocities against Sikhs and other minorities in India.

I would request that you treat my personal details with the strictest of confidence, without exception. There have been a number of instances of UK Sikh citizens being imprisoned when travelling to India for raising concerns whilst in the UK about India’s human rights record[15].  The mere existence of a Non Resident Indian (NRI) blacklist[16] compiled by the State raises genuine fears of repeat occurrences.

Yours sincerely,

Friday, 13 April 2012

Baba Baljeet Singh Daduwal Interview after release.

Courtesy of Sikh Channel

13 April 2012
Interview with Baba Baljeet Singh Daduwal who was released after 15 days in Police custody.

Some Sikh Leaders released.
Punjab: Some Sikh Leaders released, others still in Detention
Published: April 13, 2012
Amritsar, Punjab (13 April, 2012): Bhai Mohkam Singh, former Damdami Taksal Spokesperson and Convener of Khalsa Action Committee and Sikh preacher Baba Baljeet Singh Daduwal were released from different jails of Punjab yesterday. Some other Sikh activists were also released. They were kept under so-called “preventive detention” since 28 and 29 March, 2012.

But many other Sikh leaders, including Bhai Daljit Singh, Chairman of Panch Pardhani and Bhai Harpal Singh Cheema, and hundreds of Sikh activists continue to be kept behind the bars as per directs of Badal regime.

These Sikh leaders were arrested by the Punjab police at the behest of Punjab government to prevent the mass mobilization against proposed hanging of Sikh political prisoner Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana.

Bhai Mokham Singh released

Baba Baljeet Singh Daduwal released

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Vaisakhi Message from Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana

Please distribute this Vaisakhi message leaflet from Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana at your Gurdwara and Nagar Kirtan.

Leaflets can be requested by emailing from