Tuesday, August 06, 2013

UK Government will now take up matter of Sikh Political Prisoners...

News Update from SOPW:

BREAKING NEWS – Downing Street Protest reaches its final night as the matter of Sikh Political Prisoners will now be taken up with the Indian Government.

This afternoon Sikh leaders met with senior officials of the UK government at the Houses of Parliaments to discuss the deep concern amongst the Sikh community regarding the death sentence served to Prof Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and the on going injustices against all Sikh political prisoners in Indian jails.

The meeting was chaired by Lord Inderjit Singh along with three of his press ministers also present was Christopher Layden (head of ‘Human Rights and Democracy’) and Right Hon Hugo Swire (‘Minister of State for foreign and Commonwealth Office’), from the Sikh community there was Bhai Balbir Singh Bains (CEO SOPW), Bhai Gurmail Singh Kandola (Sikh Council UK), Bhai Sewa Singh Lalli (President ‘Khalistan Government in Exile’), Bhai Mohan Singh Thakar (member Khalistan GIE), Bhai Jaspal Singh Bains (SAD – Amritsar), Bhai Baljinder Singh (Downing St protester) and Bhai Gurinderpal Singh (Downing St protester).

The leaders from the Sikh community highlighted that the Downing Street protests had continued now for 117 days and their frustration that it had not until now been taken all that seriously. They explained in great detail the plight of Sikh political prisoners, Lord Inderjit Singh and all the Ministers listened carefully as the Sikh leaders gave details of the case of Prof Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and how protests had taken place all over the world for his execution to be stopped and demanding his imminent release, considering his health had deteriorated so substantially and the dubious circumstances which had led to him being found guilty in the charges in the first place.

Bhai Balbir Singh Bains gave more in depth details as to how Sikhs are constantly being picked up, having false cases registered against them and are thrown into prisons where without legal support their cases are never brought to court for a judge to decide whether the accused are in fact guilty at all, he explained where the prisoners are fortunate enough to be able to afford lawyers or where they are provided by SOPW the prisoners are usually acquitted because there is never any credible evidence against them. Bhai Balbir Singh Bains also expressed concern that the SOPW volunteers in India are constantly being harassed by the National Intelligence Agency, who interrogate them almost on a weekly basis in an attempt to deter them from assisting the political prisoners in any way despite the fact that SOPW is a UK registered charity, all our payments are made via bank accounts, the trustees have numerously welcomed any official from the Indian Government to visit the UK and discuss any concerns they may have with them in a civilised and diplomatic manner.

Lord Inderjit Singh and the Ministers expressed deep concern for the matters that were raised and confirmed that they would be writing to the Indian Prime Minister and the Indian Home Minister to highlight them, Lord Inderjit Singh also confirmed he would be writing to Prime Minister David Cameron regarding the difficulties that SOPW are encountering.

At the meeting Sikh leaders and in particular those that have regularly attended the Downing Street protest encouraged by the positive response they received from Lord Inderjit Singh and the Ministers and after a short consultation and mutual agreement they announced that the protest would end today. To mark the end to the 117 day long protest there will be a kirtan programme taking place tonight at Downing Street, so we ask as much of the Sangat as possible to attend as a final show of support for Prof Davinderpal Singh Bhullar and all the Sikh political Prisoners that are languishing now in Indian Jails and on behalf of their supporters worldwide.

Finally we would like to express our sincerest thanks and appreciation to all those that remained positive about the Downing Street protest, supported and promoted it but most of all to those that that spent all day handing out leaflets, explaining to passers-by the purpose of their presence and then slept all night on the pavements of London for their voice to be at some stage heard and today it finally was, so please attend also to thank these incredibly passionate and dedicated protesters, who we are all so so proud of.

REF: SOPW06082013IS

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