Sikhs from across the country took part in the 37th annual remembrance march in memory of the lives lost during the June 1984 Sikh genocide.
The event to remember one of the darkest times in history for Sikhs was organised by the Federation of Sikh Organisation (FSO) and it took place in London on Sunday June 6, 2021.
In June 1984 the Sikh’s most holiest shrine, the Darbar Sahib, was attacked during a well planned attack by the Indian government.
For days Sikhs bravely defended the complex and fought back thousands of powerful army soldiers.
The assault, also known as Operation Bluestar, claimed the lives of countless innocent Sikhs and 37 years on, many are still waiting for justice to be made.
On June 6 this year, people joined forces to show the Indian and UK government that the events of 1984 will never be forgotten.
Sikhs gathered at Wellington Arch around 12pm, and after Ardaas (Sikh prayer), the march led by the Panj Singhs and followed by the attendees started.
The march passed Buckingham Palace and headed straight into Trafalgar Square where there were speeches from key members and activists from the community.
Deepa Singh of Sikh Youth UK, a national organisation raising awareness on social evils, spoke to Unsaid about the day.
He said: “Throughout the day placards, banners and leaflets were being distributed to all to make sure that people were aware of why Sikhs march like this each and every year.
“There was lots of awareness raised about what happened in 1984. People were shocked to realise that the UK government also assisted in the atrocities that took place.”
On the day, the brother of Jagtar Singh Johal (Jaggi), – a British Sikh human rights activist falsely imprisoned and tortured by the Indian government since November 2017 – Gurpreet Singh Johal spoke about the issues the Sikh community is currently facing.
In his speech he mentioned that UK police have started to target activists who support Jaggi’s campaign and who are his voice, like Sikh Youth UK.
Deepa added: “Many even say that 1984 still exists today as many of the speakers spoke on stage and asked why Jaggi is still incarcerated in India’s notorious maximum security Tihar jail.”
Jaggi’s brother also spoke about the raids that took place on Sikh Activists’ homes and how 3 Sikh activists from the West Midlands are now facing extradition to India with a court hearing in September.
The possible extradition is based on charges for a 2009 crime levelled against them by the Indian government, the case in question was previously investigated and subsequently cleared for and since then no new charges have come to light.
The West Midlands 3 will be represented by human rights lawyer Gareth Pierce who will be fighting their case, however, the main question remains one.
Sikhs want to know why 37 years later they are still being targeted by India and the UK.
Watch Gurpreet Singh Johal’s speech here: