November 13, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
London, UK: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have tendered a “dossier” to the UK government seeking action against UK based Sikh activists, Sikh organizations and Sikh community TV channels.
According to reports in Indian media the Indian government has alleged that the UK based Sikh organizations are not only holding ideological indoctrination sessions at some Gurudwaras in UK for young members of the Sikh diaspora but also giving them live demonstrations on how to make improvised explosive device (IEDs) with commonly available chemicals, claim intelligence inputs shared with the government here.
“The intelligence reports claim Avtar Singh Khanda, vice president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) and a close aide of […] Jagtar Singh Hawara, and Babbar Khalsa International-UK’s Paramjit Singh Pamma are planning to hold radicalisation training classes for the Sikh youth, during which they will also be trained to assemble IEDs with locally available chemicals. Such classes were earlier conducted at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Spark Hill, Stratford, Birmingham (December 2014) and Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Glasgow (January 2015)” reads a report in Times of India (TOI).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has alleged that Sikh activism in UK had the backing of Pakistan’s ISI. He reportedly raised the “concerns” with his British counterpart David Cameron on Thursday.
As per Indian media reports the Indian government raised concern over annual convention of Sikh Federation-UK (SFUK) that was held on September 20 at a Gurdwara Sahib in Wolverhampton (West Midlands). Indian dossier reportedly claims that an amount of £97,750 was collected by SFUK in donations.
Modi dossier also target Sikh Media:
Indian government has also raised objection against UK based Sikh media, including the Sikh Channel and Sangat TV. As per media reports the Indian government has alleged that both the channels are controlled by “Sikh radicals” and known to indulge in anti-India tirade. “The two channels had tried to incite young Sikhs by repeatedly covering an incident in Jammu dated June 4 that saw one Sikh youth killed in police firing”, Modi dossier reportedly alleged.
“Intelligence reports say the owner of Sikh Channel had given approximately £2,500 to the Pakistan-based chief of Dal Khalsa International”, reports Times of India (TOI).
“Incidentally, BKI also runs an Internet radio called Babbar Khalsa Radio, which reportedly glorifies slain Khalistani militants”, TOI report reads further.
The dossier also alleged that a UK-based NGO, Aawaz Network, has created a Twitter page and Google Plus page in the name of Dal Khalsa-UK to mobilize people for alleged anti-Modi protests.
Sikh Channel UK reacts sharply:
Talking to the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) over phone, representatives of the the Sikh Channel UK rejected allegations leveled by the Modi government. S. Baljinder Singh of the Sikh Channel UK said that they would be holding a live show today on the Sikh Channel UK from 7 pm to 9 pm (UK Time) to answer the allegations leveled by the Indian government.
“We have come to know about some baseless allegations leveled by the Indian government against our Channel and we will respond to in a live show this evening”, said Baljinder Singh.
He said that it was strange that a channel is being labeled as “radical” by the Indian government for covering a news/ event.
He said that the Sikh Channel UK never incited violence and their reporters cover events in a very responsible manner.
Attempt to contain Sikh activism:
Observers say that PM Narendra Modi’s allegations against Sikh activists, Sikh organzations and Sikh media networks were an attempt of the Indian state to contain the Sikh diaspora activism. They say that the state wishes to create fear psychosis and it was next step after retention of the so-labeled black list of the Sikhs.
Earlier during PM Manmohan Singh’s tenure the Indian government had leveled allegations of extremism against Sikh diaspora activists in Canada. But during his visit to India, the then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had clarified that the issue of separate Sikh state was a political agenda and propagation of the idea of Sikh state by Canadian Sikhs was covered by their freedom of expression.
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