India urges UK to monitor more closely Sikh separatists
This follows recent protests outside the Indian High Commission in London that saw the removal of the Indian flag and a pro-Khalistan banner displayed in support of a united Punjab. In the meantime, the California State Assembly adopted a resolution describing anti-Sikh violence in the 1980s as genocide.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – After senior British and Indian Home Ministry officials met in New Delhi, the Indian government released a statement, expressing “its concerns on the misuse of UK's asylum status by the Pro-Khalistani elements to aid and abet terrorist activities in India”; for this reason, “It requests better cooperation with [the] UK”.
This comes after protesters with Khalistan banners took down the Indian flag last month at India’s diplomatic mission in London as a protest against recent police action in India's Punjab state designed to capture Amritpal Singh, leader of the separatist movement.
Khalistani nationalists seek an independent state that includes both Indian and Pakistani Punjab.
In recent months, similar protests have also been reported in the United States and Canada, home to a large Sikh community.
In late March, the California Assembly passed a resolution urging the US Congress to condemn and recognise as genocide the violence against Sikhs in 1984, when, in an attempt to suppress the secessionist movement, thousands were killed in clashes with police at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of Sikhism’s holiest sites.
This was followed that same year by the assassination of then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by a Sikh bodyguard, sparking riots that left thousands dead in street violence.
California Assembly Member Jasmeet Kaur Bains, first elected Sikh member of the state assembly, presented the resolution, which notes that the “Widow Colony” in New Delhi still houses Sikh women who were assaulted, raped, tortured, and forced to witness the dismemberment, burning and murder of their families.
The only Hindu member of the assembly, Ash Kalra, voted in favour of the resolution.