Today a jury at Birmingham Crown Court has unanimously acquitted two members of the Sikh community for alleged offences relating to a widely publicised protest at Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick in 2016.
The Gurdwara Sahib committee has a lengthy history of creating discord amongst the UK Sikh community resulting in numerous protests across the past few years.
On Sunday 11 September 2016, members of the Sikh community from across the United Kingdom attended a peaceful protest at the Gurdwara Sahib against the continuous and longstanding corruption by the management committee.
Following malicious reports of armed protesters with firearms, Warwickshire Police followed their prearranged protocol with the Gurdwara Sahib management committee and commenced an operation to cause “shock and awe”.
Despite an entirely peaceful protest, Warwickshire Police sent an armed contingent to the Gurdwara Sahib. Officers identified no threat existed however were instructed to remain throughout the day. Regardless of the protest finishing well before members of the Sangat would arrive, the protestors were held at the Gurdwara Sahib throughout the day. Police presence was unecessarily escalated culminating in the force producing a Police helicopter when the protest was complete.
The Police press statement fueled widespread and inaccurate media coverage serving to vilify the Sikh community across the World. Facing widespread condemnation, in an attempt to cover the unjustifiable level of Police presence, Warwickshire Police arrested fifty-five protestors for trespass.
As it is impossible for Sikhs to trespass in a Gurdwara which is open for the public, Warwickshire Police in conjunction with the Gurdwara Sahib management committee went back to the drawing table.
Subsequently, cases were fabricated against two innocent individuals. One was accused of assault by allegedly pulling an individuals tie and the other was accused of criminal damage for removing a sign.
The reality of the situation became clear during the trial at Birmingham Crown Court. The allegations were robustly disproved and despite giving false evidence under oath upon a Gutka Sahib, the lies of Bhopinder Aujla were clear for all to see. His claims of being assaulted were unfounded.
From the circumstances, it is clear to see a situation where the management committee of the Gurdwara Sahib have used their personal links with the Police and politicians to serve their joint objectives. This was demonstrated numerous times including the interview of Superintendent David Gardner of Warwickshire Police who discussed the case on television prior to a full investigation, charges or proceedings.
In addition to the massive costs for the unwarranted and unnecessarily exaggerated response by Warwickshire Police, the additional costs of malicious allegations and Court proceedings are a cost which will be borne unfairly by the taxpayer.
Reacting to the Court outcome, calls are being made from the Sikh community across the UK for the management committee of Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick to stand down. Furthermore an independent investigation into the actions of Warwickshire Police in relation to the whole affair is being demanded.
Via Sikh Youth Birmingham