Guru Nanak Gurdwara cc-by-sa/2.0 - © John M - geograph.org.uk/p/254827

Guru Nanak Gurdwara
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © John Mgeograph.org.uk/p/254827

The West Midlands Police has released a full statement on the incident.

Officers of the West Midland Police were ejected from a Gurdwara by Sikh Youth UK activists accusing the police of “interfering in Indian matters.” The activists said police are "officially banned" from Sikh temples in West Midlands. The gurdwara in question is believed to be Guru Nanak Gurdwara situated in Pleck, Walsall. The Gurdwara committee allowed local law enforcement to set up their own stall during the Diwali festival. The objective was to recruit members of the Sikh community to the West Midlands Police.

The West Midlands Police have responded in detail to such allegations, denying all claims the Sikh activist group made against the force. The police said that they do not target any community on the basis of their ideological, religious, or racial beliefs. The confrontation between the police officers and the Sikh Youth UK activists was captured by phone and subsequently uploaded to YouTube. A member of the Sikh community, identified as Deepa Singh, was seen asking the officers to leave. Singh is a member of Sikh Youth UK. The police officers seemed confused at first, but they ultimately exited the premises.

The West Midlands Police has given their response in the form of a detailed statement released to the public. The statement explained in full what the force wanted to convey to the activists at the time of the fracas. The text informed the reader that West Midlands Counter-Terrorism Unit (WMCTU) detectives on September 18, bolstered by other police forces, searched a total of six properties located in London, Birmingham, Leicester, and Coventry. Three were searched for terrorism offenses and three for fraud offenses. It went on to claim that WMCTU partners closely would other intelligence and law enforcement agencies but carefully maintain independence on operations including any kind of political interference.

The West Midlands Police reiterated that those searches were meant to secure evidence and preserve them. The decision to strike was not directed by either the Indian or the UK Government. The action was not a component of any joint investigation with Indian or any other nation's authorities. Only British police were involved in the action.

Many Sikhs claim to be targeted by British police working in tandem with Indian intelligence after Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested in November 2017. The British citizen was reportedly being violently interrogated in prison by Indian law enforcement over the last year.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter