Sikhs protest in London over 'political prisoners' in India

  • PTI, London
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2015 12:42 IST

Hundreds of Sikhs from across the UK on Thursday protested in Parliament Square in London to seek answers from the British government over the release of what they described as political prisoners in India.

Protesters blocked the roads outside the Houses of Parliament and demanded the release of Sikh political prisoners who had been languishing in jails for decades.

"Some of them have been in prison for decades and most are in the sixties and seventies and should be released given their impeccable behaviour and on humanitarian grounds," said Sikh Federation UK, a group that played an eminent role in organising the protest.

The group also wrote to British prime minister David Cameron and UK foreign secretary Phillip Hammond in May and had met with Foreign and Commonwealth Office to raise their concerns.

The protest was also called over Sikh activist Bapu Surat Singh, who has reportedly been on hunger strike for more than six months.

The 82-year-old Sikh activist is a US resident on hunger strike in India for nearly 180 days because his son, a US citizen, was reportedly detained by police for two months and tortured when he went to see his father in hospital.

"The plight of Sikh political prisoners is an emotive one for British Sikhs and Sikhs across the globe. The likely death of Bapu Surat Singh will create further agony and could result in serious unrest as the police in India are likely to use heavy handed techniques that will result in further loss of life," Sikh Federation UK said.

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