After Indian government officials were barred from entering 14 Canadian gurdwaras

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Sikh group plans to bar entry of Indian officials in UK gurdwaras

By Rajdeep Kaur

January 06, 2018

Sikh group plans bar entry Indian officials UK gurdwaras: After Indian government officials were barred from entering 14 Canadian gurdwaras, they might face a similar ban in some gurdwaras in the UK and other European countries. Last month in an unusual move, 14 gurdwara management committees in Canada’s Ontario province had imposed a ban on the entry of Indian officials in the gurdwaras under their control. These gurdwaras used a law against trespassing to ban entry of the Indian government representatives.

Now, the Sikh Federation (UK) is proposing to ban entry of Indian officials in gurdwaras in the UK and a few European countries in any official capacity. As in the case of the Canadian ban, the UK group has made it clear that anyone could visit the gurdwaras in personal capacity as member of the Sangat. A draft declaration, which will have to be signed by the gurdwara committees, has been circulated in gurdwaras in the UK and some countries of mainland Europe for a discussion on the issue. The Federation of Sikh Organisations, an umbrella body of which the Sikh Federation (UK) is a member, will discuss the proposed declaration this weekend.

The group claims it can secure support of at least 60-70 gurdwaras in the UK and hoped to increase the number to 100 in the UK. “Contacts in 15 countries have suggested a similar ban can be imposed in many of the 100-odd gurdwaras in the mainland Europe. When this is combined with gurdwaras from Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere in the diaspora, the Indian government officials could face ban on entry in over 300 gurdwaras,” the Federation claimed.

According to the draft of the proposed declaration, the Indian officials “need to understand their presence will make members of the Sikh community uncomfortable due to their role of working or representing the Indian government.

Sikh group plans bar entry Indian officials UK gurdwaras. They can, therefore, be expected to be challenged by other members of the Sangat and asked to explain their role in anti-Sikh activities.” The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president, Manjit Singh GK, said no one could be banned from entering any gurdwara. “Doors of a gurdwara can’t be shut on anybody, but the gurdwara management committees can control stage and may not allow somebody to use it,” he said.