Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar and executive members should do their homework before they approach foreign dignitaries with problems related to the Sikhs living abroad.
Passing on wrong information can, at times, cause embarrassment, which is what happened on Friday when Makkar and four others met New Zealand high commissioner Graham Mortem in New Delhi. The issue to be raised was the recent murder of a Sikh, Davinder Singh, at Papatoetoe town of New Zealand.
SGPC general secretary Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, secretary Dalmegh Singh, and executive members Karnail Singh Panjoli and Rajinder Singh Mehta had accompanied Makkar. The SGPC stated in a press release issue here later that Makkar and his colleagues had projected the matter as hate crime and demanded that the New Zealand authorities arrested the culprits.
They said since 9/11, hate crime against Sikhs had increased all over the globe and the main reason was that they were taken for Muslims because of their turban. However, the envoy told Makkar that the murder of Davinder Singh was not hate crime but a case of family feud and the killers had been identified and arrested already, one of them being victim's wife. Thereafter, the SGPC team changed the subject to the history of the Golden Temple. Makkar invited the envoy to visit the shrine.