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World

August 18, 2018

Met police apologises to Sikhs over ‘failings’

World

Sat, Aug 18, 2018


LONDON: The Metropolitan Police has admitted its failings during 1984 Sikh Genocide remembrance march in London that put lives of Sikh elders and families with children at risk, admitting that it failed to communicate with the organisers and as a result elderly and families with children were put at risk.

The Sikh Federation (SF) wrote to the police on 4 June, the day after the 1984 Sikh Genocide Remembrance March and Freedom Rally in central London, to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London and Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, protesting against the police beahviour.

The Sikh Federation demanded an apology to the Sikh community for police negligence and incompetence by putting the lives of thousands of peaceful Sikh protesters at risk in central London because the Metropolitan Police failed to turn up to stop traffic to allow the protest march between Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square. There were massive traffic jams as a result and chaos was witnessed.

Cressida Dick wrote to Preet Kaur Gill MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs on 13 June categorically stating Commander Jane Connors was “in contact with the Indian High Commission to discuss the policing of this event.” This admission caused outrage in the Sikh community as it provided proof of Indian government interference in policing a peaceful protest march to remember the 1984 Sikh Genocide.

The Mayor of London wrote to the chair of the Sikh Federation apologising for delay and emphasising the need for a prompt and transparent answer to our concerns.

After negotiations over months, Commander Jane Connors has accepted all responsibility and apologised for the systematic failings by the Met Police from start to finish over a six month period.

A spokesperson for the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “This was a catalogue of errors by the Metropolitan Police Service at every level that should have been avoided. It was a miracle no one was killed or seriously injured due to the gross negligence of the police.”

“We were promised a personal video apology by the Commander who we met nearly a month ago that we could share with the thousands of Sikhs from across the UK that took part in the 35th 1984 Sikh Genocide Remembrance march on 3 June. However, our request has fallen on deaf ears so we are now going public with the Commander’s letter of apology.”