Two pro-Khalistani campaigners charged with attacking Akali Dal leader Manjit Singh
New York, August 29. Sukhwinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh, two pro-Khalistani campaigners have been charged by California’s Sutter County Sherriff’s office, for attacking Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President and senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Manjit GK during his visit to Yuba City Gurdwara on August 25.
US-based advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SJF) had said the charges were not justified and accused Puneet Chandhok of instigating the attacks. “All evidence and videos show that Puneet Chandok who is close to Manjit GK instigated the violence against the Referendum 2020 campaigners who were exercising their right of protest protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. We will be defending the charges against both our campaigners since they were only protesting GK’s presence outside Yuba City Gurdwara,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun advisor to SFJ.
Manjit Singh GK was assaulted allegedly by pro-Khalistan supporters in California. During the assault, one of his associates were injured. Singh had said the purpose of his visit was to hold discussions among the Sikh community about the 550th birthday anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, to be commemorated next year.
This is the second attack on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader, who had earlier been attacked in New York. Singh had been visiting the main Gurudwara in Yuba City, California when, he said, a group of 30-35 people supporting the ‘Khalistan 2020 referendum’ attacked him.
Yesterday evening US Ambassador Kenneth I Juster had a 45-minute long meeting with Shiromani Akali Dal president and former Deputy CM Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal at the party’s headquarters here. Sukhbir discussed the issue of problems being faced by members of the Sikh community in the USA and referred to the incidence of racial attacks against them, especially in the recent times. He specifically urged Juster to use his good office to expedite action against those guilty of an attack on the DSGMC President Manjit Singh GK during his trip to the USA. Juster assured Sukhbir that he would do all he can to ensure that justice is delivered expeditiously in the case.
Separately, ‘Sikhs For Justice’ (SFJ) who had held a declaration event in London on Sunday to announce the resolutions for the establishment of the state of Khalistan, despite India’s objections in the matter, accused Singh and his supporters of “instigating violent attacks on pro-Khalistan activists” who were “peacefully protesting” in the SAD leader’s presence in Yuba City Gurdwara.
In a statement issued through its legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, SFJ has also filed a complaint against Singh with the US Department of Justice for violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) laws.
He said SFJ filed the complaint against Singh for holding, attending and addressing political gatherings in the US in violations of FARA laws
“We will now ask US Immigration to take notice of illegal activities of Singh and make him inadmissible to the United States,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UK government distanced itself from the issues raised by the pro-Khalistan rally, ‘London Declaration on Referendum 2020’ organized by Sikhs for Justice at London’s Trafalgar Square on August 12 after it triggered a diplomatic row with India.
Lead Image: Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee chief Manjit Singh GK