Concerns Raised in UK Parliament Over Security of SikhsJanuary 21, 2024
London: In a recent session at the House of Commons, United Kingdom, the security of Sikhs in the country took center stage. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a Labour Party MP representing the Slough Constituency, addressed the house, expressing his concern about the safety of British Sikhs. He revealed that one of his constituents was among six British Sikhs listed as “enemies of the state” on a hit list of 20, publicized by certain sections of the Indian media.
Dhesi highlighted alarming incidents globally, such as the Canadian Prime Minister disclosing the assassination of a Sikh activist and a thwarted plot against another Sikh activist in the United States. Additionally, he mentioned the family of a Birmingham Sikh, Toggle, urging an inquiry into his suspicious death. All three individuals, according to Dhesi, were on the aforementioned hit list. Many Sikhs in the UK, he claimed, have received “threat to life” notices from the police.
The MP emphasized the fundamental right to freedom of expression in a democracy, irrespective of one’s views, and questioned whether the government acknowledges this right and is taking adequate steps to ensure the safety and security of British Sikhs.
In response, Lucy Powell, another MP, paid tribute to her late colleague Sir Tony Lloyd, highlighting his exemplary character, values, and dedication to public service. Powell acknowledged Lloyd’s influence as her predecessor in the Manchester Central constituency and praised his integrity and humanity in working across political divides.
Penny Mordaunt also acknowledged the imminent opportunity for the entire House to pay tribute to Tony Lloyd, expressing condolences and recognizing his enduring commitment to public service until the end.
The discussions in the House of Commons reflect growing concerns over the safety of the Sikh community in the UK. The reference to global incidents adds a broader context, underlining the need for heightened security measures. Dhesi’s plea for the protection of freedom of expression emphasizes the importance of safeguarding democratic principles while addressing security challenges faced by specific communities.
As the UK government faces calls to act, the deliberations in the House signal the urgency of implementing measures to ensure the safety and security of British Sikhs, fostering an environment where diverse voices can be heard without the looming threat of violence. The upcoming tributes to Tony Lloyd further underscore the shared commitment to values of integrity and humanity within the political arena.