Diaspora uproar over abhorrent anti-India posters in Leicester

Diaspora uproar over abhorrent anti-India posters in Leicester

British Sikhs and community leaders have spoken out against abhorrent anti-India posters that emerged on vehicles and near a gurdwara in Leicester over the weekend, with images of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The banners disparagingly linked the Indian leaders with the death of Canadian Sikh Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a case raised by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the country’s Parliament last year and still under investigation by both sides. India rejected all allegations as “absurd and motivated” and has been awaiting evidence to support the Canadian claim against its government.

Lord Rami Ranger, chairman of the British Sikh Association, said: “I am saddened to see billboards where the photos of the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Foreign Minister of India are shown with the caption ‘the assassins of Shaheed Nijjar’.

“Any loss of life is tragic for the family and friends. However, displaying such billboards takes away sympathy from the victim… It is important for the well-wishers to maintain dignity and respect, not only for the victim but also for the government of India, so that they can systematically investigate the death of Mr Nijjar; May the truth prevail.”

The Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) diaspora group ensure the offensive posters and banners were removed by the authorities and expressed its concerns over the extremism being witnessed on the streets of Leicester.

OFBJP President Kuldeep Shekhawat said: “Leicester is becoming a hotbed of anti-India activities. This is very sad that a religious place is being used to heighten anti-India sentiments and the Labour council did not take appropriate action earlier until there was an uproar in the Indian diaspora.


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PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah has time and again spoken for the welfare of the Sikh community and their actions speak louder than the words.”

Another local community leader from Leicester described the posters as “deeply offensive”.

The Leicestershire Police said its officers were made aware of the incidents during an annual procession was held in the city centre on Sunday as part of Baisakhi celebrations.

A spokesperson said: “Officers received reports in relation to two banners displayed on a vehicle which were of a political nature. One of these banners was removed after those in the vehicle were informed they would not be able to proceed with the banner on display. Enquiries are ongoing in relation to this banner to establish if any offences have been committed.

“In relation to a second banner displayed, which related to international politics, enquiries have been carried out and it has been deemed that no criminal offence has been committed.”


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However, the force said that its neighbourhood policing officers continue to respond to community concerns raised and to review reports which are received.

“We also continue to provide proactive patrols in the area, to engage with local residents and businesses, to support and provide reassurance to local communities, to encourage people to celebrate safely and to police incidents without fear or favour,” the spokesperson added.

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