A secret meeting took place between the Indian PM Narendra Modi with Gurmel Singh from the Sikh Council UK, Bhai Mohinder Singh of Nishkam Sevak Jatha, President of Singh Sabha Southall Gurmail Malhi, and Jasdev Rai.
Gurmel Singh from Sikh Council UK has termed the meeting as “useful” and “constructive” but many have expressed disappointment as the meeting wasn’t announced or discussed with other SCUK members.
The Federation of Sikh Organizations of the UK held meetings to not engage in dialogue with Indian authorities until “a sign of intent and goodwill was demonstrated and then only real issues as agreed in the FSO strategy would be discussed.”
Sikh organizations in the UK have openly expressed outraged after hearing about some Sikh groups holding a secret meeting with PM Modi. The Sikh groups hoped there would be a mandate, transparency, and a Panthic agreement before engaging in a dialogue with the Indian PM.
According to sources, several members of the Sikh Council UK are getting ready to submit their resignations.
A member of the Sikh Council UK Upkar Singh has expressed his frustration over the meeting:
Sikh council UK attended a meeting with no clear mandate from the Sangat or its representatives, it seems the council failed at the executive level. SCUK attended with other leaders who have promised and not delivered an iota to date.
I myself will be handing I my resignation to SCUK upon my return to the UK.
After news of the meeting surfaced, a another member of the SCUK Mankamal Singh resigned stating, “with no Pantic mandate, no real consensus with the Gurdwaras/Sangat and no real agenda shared within Sikh Council UK, I believe you ended making a terrible decision that was not in line with what I believed Sikh Council UK stood for.”
The member further stated, “To me this was no different in the covert decision making by the elite groups that Sikh Council UK was set up to eradicate. To be associated with a group that felt it had the right to represent the Khalsa Panth today with Modi and nit in Punjab at the Sarbat Khalsa on Tuesday 10 November is a huge embarrassment and disappointment.”
According to social media reports, more SCUK are getting ready to submit their resignation letters after the surprise meeting with the Indian PM. Currently, there is a broad disappointment among Sikhs in the UK over the meeting.
Sources have now stated that the Press Release of the Sikh Council UK is incorrect as the issues supposedly raised weren’t mentioned or discussed with Modi.
According to the press release issued by the Sikh Council UK, the following issues were discussed:
- Release of Sikh political prisoners
- Prosecution of Police officers involved in human rights violations in Punjab
- Justice for the Sikh genocide oi November 1984
- Returning rare and priceless items taken by the Indian Army in June 1984 from the Sikh Reference Library. Sri Harmandar Sahib
- Review oi Article 25 oi the Indian Constitution
- Compensation for Sikh farmers in Gujart forced to leave and prosecution of those responsible for violent attacks against them
- Increase in the cases oi deliberate desecration of Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Secretary General of Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said. “The meeting was useful as it was probably the first time ever Sikhs were able to openly meet with and clearly outline the lack of justice and severe human rights concerns directly to the Prime Minister of India. PM Modi accepted our concerns were legitimate and agreed on a formal process to further address these concerns through his appointed National Security Adviser.”