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UK raids targeted Khalistani activists, 2 websites shut down

September 22, 2018 06:01 AM

COURTESY TOI SEP 22

UK raids targeted Khalistani activists, 2 websites shut down
Naomi Canton

Raids carried out in UK’s Midlands and west London region recently were in connection with ‘extremist activity in India’ and targeted Khalistani activists, according to some Sikh groups.

At least one of the homes raided belonged to a Khalistani protester who had gatecrashed Rahul Gandhi’s event in UK and who plays a key role in the National Sikh Youth Federation (NSYF), an NGO that states its "focus is on research and education of Sikh history".


The NSYF has revealed that thousands of pounds of its equipment was seized. Its website has also come down.

Two 1984-related Sikh websites can also no longer be reached following the raids. Jagtar Singh Johal, the Scottish Sikh arrested in Punjab for his alleged involvement in targeted killings in the state, was a contributor to one of these.

The Sikh Federation (UK) said, “There were six properties raided in total — two in Birmingham, two in Coventry, one in Leicester and one in West London. The police turned up unannounced in daylight hours and spent 12-36 hours doing searches in each home... They were targeting Sikh campaigners and activists highlighting the injustices post-1984 around the struggle for an independent Sikh state...”

According to one media report, one of the homes raided in Coventry was that of a relative of Johal.

British Sikh MP Preet Gill, whose constituency is in Birmingham, said Sikh community representatives had “raised serious concerns about the operation”.

She added "if the raids were targeting those who are outspoken on the 1984 genocide it is totally unacceptable." She is calling for a meeting with the chief superintendent for West Midlands police and says she will be "taking up the matter with home secretary Sajid Javid".

West Midlands police have given very sparse details about the raids, but said no arrests have been made.

 

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