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On Tuesday 25 February, a meeting was arranged by Sikh Council UK with representatives of the British Government, regarding the UK’s involvement in the June 1984 attack on the Harmandar Sahib in Amritsar.

Baroness Warsi, a Conservative Senior Minister of State, met with the main Sikh representatives in attendance; Judge Mota Singh, Lord Inderjeet Singh, Bhai Mohinder Singh (Head of Niskaam Sewak Jatha Birmingham), SOPW, Sikh Federation, FSO, Kesri Lehar and Sikh ministers from many political backgrounds. These well known figure heads have had previous dealings with the British Government, particularly Judge Mota Singh and Lord Inderjeet Singh. 

The meeting was chaired by Gurmail Singh Kandola (head of Sikh Council UK) and began with the Sikh delegates expressing their grave disappointment with the outcome of the Heywood Report and a call for the need of an independent inquiry. Baroness Warsi was accompanied by a group of fifteen prominent officials from various Government departments, including two members from the Home Office. It was a productive and intellectually balanced meeting and Baroness Warsi offered her full assurance to look into the matter further. The Sikh community’s concerns on the issue were conveyed loud and clear.

Also on the meeting agenda, was the continual harassment of SOPW by the Indian Intelligence Agencies and the negative propaganda spread through the Indian media. The Sikh representatives expressed their concerns for SOPW, a human rights charity fighting for justice within India. Baroness Warsi stated she was aware of the work of the charity and the issues SOPW faced and took notes on the points raised. This goes to show the difficult and challenging field in which SOPW operates and the lengths to which the Indian Agencies will go, to obstruct us in our work. SOPW has now had meetings with several different Government officials at the highest levels, who have offered their support in protecting SOPW.

A full and official report will be released by the Sikh Council UK, in the coming days. 

© The Sikh Organisation for Prisoners Welfare 2020