LONDON: As the right-wing Indian government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has intensified its crackdown against Sikhs, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) stopped a prominent Sikh Member of the British Parliament and attacked the family home of a leading Khalistani leader based in London.
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Britain’s first turban-wearing Labour MP, took to Twitter to protest he was stopped at Shri Guru Ramdas ji International Airport in Amritsar by the Indian government agencies and that Khalistani leader Paramjit Singh Pamma’s family house was raided while his aged parents were assaulted and questioned by NIA officers.
Pamma — a leading figure in the Khalistan Referendum movement under the banner of pro-Khalistan Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) — is one of the most-wanted persons by the Indian government and has been accused of Rulda Singh, the president of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat — an RSS affiliate wing.
However, Pamma denies any involvement.
The Indian government got him arrested in Portugal to extradite him to India but he won the case and the Portugal and UK govt refused to extradite him due to lack of evidence against him.
Videos showed the Indian police ransacking the house of Pamma’s parents. His father told the media this was yet another attack on the family home.
“My son left India some 22 years ago and has never been back and we have not seen him but the Indian govt continues to raid my home whenever it wishes to,” he said.
The Indian government has raised family homes of dozens of western-based Khalistani activists on the excuse that the crackdown is against those who are allegedly involved in the attack on the Indian High Commission in London as well in other Western countries.
The High Commission of India in London was attacked on March 19 by a group of around 50 people during a pro-Khalistan protest.
Raids on Sikhs’ homes in India have further soured relations between India and Sikhs. Yesterday, Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi said his maltreatment and discrimination at the Amritsar airport was, in no doubt, related to his support for the Farmers’ Protest and for speaking in the defence of the rights of Sikhs.
The Indian agencies stopped Dhesi for over two hours and asked him about the purpose of the visit and why he supported the rights of Sikhs, according to sources close to the MP.
The Labour MP said he was humiliated by the Indian authorities just because he was a Sikh and spoke for Sikh rights.
He wrote: “Last year in India I felt the love for speaking up on #FarmersProtest #HumanRights, but today was held back at #Amritsar airport, as haters had called to cancel my visa. Guess it’s the price to pay for standing up for farmers, the marginalised and minorities like the Sikhs.”
He added: “Upon landing in India last year, I felt the huge love and respect for many Indian farmers’ unions and civil society (in recognition of stridently speaking up for Human Rights during the Farmers’ Protest), but today the indignity of being held back for over 2 hours at Amritsar airport, because some haters had complained to get my valid OCI visa suspended.
“Despite the rumours, the issue was fully resolved with officials there, thanks to strong interventions from family, friends, and supporters, to whom I’m very grateful.
“Even for an MP who is constantly wishing and working for the betterment of the Punjab, India and the wider subcontinent, I guess that’s the price to pay for standing in solidarity with farmers, the marginalised and minorities like the Sikhs.”
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP has openly criticised the handling of the farmer agitation and the Punjab Police crackdown on Khalistani Amritpal Singh. Dhesi is a Labour politician representing Slough, and has been an MP continuously since 8 June, 2017. He currently undertakes the role of shadow minister (rail) in this country.
Please visit our website London Institute of Peace Research for latest peace news