NEW YORK, Jan 8 (APP): The management committees of 96 Sikh Gurdwaras across America on Sunday decided to ban the entry of Indian diplomats and individuals representing Indian interests in the Gurdwaras and their participation in the annual parades coinciding with the birth of the Khalsa, according to a press release.
The decision was made through a unanimously adopted resolution that cited the 1984 Indian Army attack on the Golden Temple and the massacre of Sikhs that followed as well as labelling of Sikhs as Hindus under Article (25) of the Indian Constitution as some of the reasons for the move.
The resolution was spearhead and moved by the Sikh Coordination Committee of East Coast (SCCEC) and American Gurdwara Prabhandik Committee (AGPC), the two largest umbrella organizations of Sikh Gurdwaras and backed by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) a human rights and advocacy group which is seeking a non-binding referendum in the State of Punjab to create an independent Sikh country “Khalistan,” the pressing issue issued by SfJ said.
Supporting the ban, SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said, “The diplomats represent the same Indian government which is responsible for the genocidal violence of Sikhs and has given impunity to Indian police officials who have committed torture and extrajudicial killings of Sikhs.”
Pannun said that the presence and participation of Indian diplomats in Gurdwaras cause the members of the persecuted Sikh community to relive the same trauma yet again.
“Indian Government is responsible for the June 1984 military invasion of Sri Harmandir Sahib; genocidal violence against Sikhs in November 1984; and decade-long extrajudicial killing of Sikhs in Punjab,” states the resolution read by Himmat Singh, the Coordinator of SCCEC, before a Sikh gathering at a Gurdwara in Richmond Hill, New York, according to the press release.
“This historic decision of banning the entry of Indian diplomats will also expose those Sikh community members and organizations who have been supporting the Indian regime for the last three decades,” Himmat Singh added.
“Under the cover of “community outreach”, the Indian diplomats are creating an atmosphere of intimidation among the Sikhs who have taken refuge US, Canada, England and European nations from India’s constant persecution”, Avtar Singh Pannu, member of the AGPC, said.
“After the US, we will campaign to ban the entry of Indian diplomats across European nations also as activities of the Indian diplomats have created disharmony and discontent among the peaceful Sikh community”, Avtar Singh Pannu added.