American Sikh Council supports move to boycott Indian officials at Gurdwaras
Chandigarh, November 23, 2017: The US-based advocacy group, American Sikh Council (ASC) has urged all its member gurdwaras and the Sikh institutions across the diaspora to support the move to disallow any Indian government official to speak from their stages allegedly for abusing the human rights of the Sikhs.
In an emailed statement issued on Thursday, the ASC has also urged the members to sign the online petitions to support the campaign to free UK Sikh national Jagtar Singh Johal presently in custody of the Punjab police in target killings case.
The ASC claims to be an elected umbrella organization of 73 Sikh Gurdwaras and institutions across the US and its major purpose is to represent the collective view of Sikhs there. It works to promote Sikh interests at the national and international level focusing on issues of advocacy, education, and well-being of humankind.
Its protest move comes in the wake of alleged illegal detention of Johal, which it perceives to be part of the alleged anti-Sikh activities of the Indian government on foreign soils.
The ASC supported and applauded the instance of the Sikh congregation at Gurdwara located at 560 Davis Rd, Tarneit, Australia for standing up to the Indian High Commissioner AC Gondane and putting him on notice that no Indian government officials would be allowed in any gurdwara anywhere.
It alleged in the statement that on November 4, 2017 Johal got abducted on trumped up charges and is still languishing in jail while being severely tortured by the Indian police in Punjab. His only crime was that he ran a website which highlighted Sikh human rights www.neverforget84.com .
Back in Punjab, the police have stoutly denied charges of illegal detention and torture in custody.
”These illegal abductions by Indian police are routine but completely unlawful and bizarre by any lawful and democratic standards,” the ASC further alleged while adding that the practice of denying visas to suppress the Sikh voices of protest by the Indian Embassies and Consulates, pretty common in the 1980s and 1990s, is still going on though more selectively.