UK cops honour Indian who saved Sikh leader in gurdwara attack

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2015 16:51 IST

The Leicestershire police have honoured an Indian citizen who saved the life of Namdhari Sikh leader Siri Sat Guru Uday Singh when the latter was attacked in a local gurdwara during his visit here in 2013.

Baldev Singh was at the forefront of a group of worshippers at the Namdhari Sikh Gurdwara, Leicester, in August 2013 when a man took out an axe and tried to assassinate the religious leader. It was Baldev Singh’s quick intervention that saved the leader’s life, the police said.

Sikhs, who comprise a large section of Britain’s population, have often come under racist attacks in recent times, forcing law-enforcing agencies to step up security for the religious minority group.

A few days ago, police in Birmingham launched a probe after a video purportedly showing a Sikh man being attacked by a group on a crowded street went viral on the internet.

Watch: Sikh boy beaten up in UK's Birmingham

Leicester police said that Baldev Singh was at the forefront of a group of worshippers who disarmed the assailant, who was later convicted of attempted murder and jailed for 17 years.

Singh who travelled from India to collect his Commendation for Bravery award, said, “I had a feeling that something wasn’t right but no one had any idea that something like this would happen within a religious ceremony”.

“If I hadn’t intervened the situation would have been very different and there would have been a lot of upset (people) within the community. It was my natural instinct to save His Holiness Sri Sat Guru Uday Singh Ji.”

Chief constable Simon Cole said, “It’s really important that we acknowledge the brilliant work that has been achieved from officers, staff and members of the public”.

Ranjit Singh Flora, a member of the Namdhari Sikh community in Leicester, told the local media: “Baldev was the first person to get up and defend His Holiness. He is a very brave man.”

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