Lower Mainland Sikhs protest protracted prison terms in India

Published: December 23, 2013

Local gurdwara members are seated at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday. They went on hunger strike in support of Indian farmer Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, to raise awareness of political prisoners awaiting release. Submitted photo.

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Hundreds of B.C. Sikhs and human rights protesters gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday in support of an East Indian farmer who’s been on hunger strike for more than 40 days.

Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa of Mohali, India has not eaten since Nov. 14 in an attempt to raise awareness of the subcontinent’s many political prisoners awaiting release.

According to Prem Vinning, president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, eight local gurdwara members, including himself, went on a hunger strike from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., alonside hundreds who gathered for a rally at the art gallery “to show support and solidarity for his hunger strike.”

“Basically what (Khalsa) is saying is people who have completed their minimal sentences, their prison terms, should be released and be allowed to return to their families and rebuild their lives,” he said.

According to Vinning, Khalsa is on strike for six prisoners in particular: Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Lal Singh, Shamsher Singh, Waryan Singh, and Gurdeep Singh.

But their scenario is similar to many other political prisoners in India — they’re kept imprisoned for much longer than the usual 14-year sentence, with many remaining behind bars for 20 years or more, Vinning said.

Hundreds of B.C. Sikhs gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday in support of Indian farmer Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa, to raise awareness of political prisoners awaiting release. Submitted photo.

“People are just being kept there and they need to be released after they’ve served their sentence, paid their dues to society,” said Vinning. “They should be released and allowed to lead normal lives.”

According to Vinning, similar hunger strikes and peaceful rallies happened in Sikh communities across the globe on Sunday.

“Just a rally to show support to highlight the issue, that this needs to be addressed,” he said.

lcahute@vancouverdesi.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

Surrey

Surrey RCMP continue hunt for hit-and-run driver who struck a Sikh temple volunteer

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY —  Surrey Mounties are still looking for the driver who ran down a Sikh temple volunteer in Newton last fall….
Continue Reading »

Merritt music festival

Headdresses banned from Merritt music festival out of respect to First Nations

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI An electronic music festival this B.C. Day long weekend in Merritt has banned native headdresses from its campgrounds. “Bass Coast Festival…
Continue Reading »

luxury brand market Vancouver

Asian tourists important for Vancouver’s high-end luxury retailers

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI If you ever wandered by a high-end luxury retail outlet like Burberry or Tiffany’s and wondered who could afford thousands of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Surrey

Surrey RCMP continue hunt for hit-and-run driver who struck a Sikh temple volunteer

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY —  Surrey Mounties are still looking for the driver who ran down a Sikh temple volunteer in Newton last fall….
Continue Reading »

Merritt music festival

Headdresses banned from Merritt music festival out of respect to First Nations

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI An electronic music festival this B.C. Day long weekend in Merritt has banned native headdresses from its campgrounds. “Bass Coast Festival…
Continue Reading »

luxury brand market Vancouver

Asian tourists important for Vancouver’s high-end luxury retailers

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI If you ever wandered by a high-end luxury retail outlet like Burberry or Tiffany’s and wondered who could afford thousands of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

india flag2

Sporting fans disappointed as Indian flag depicted upside down in Commonwealth Games promotional video

VANCOUVER DESI India is already making headlines as the Commonwealth Games officially kick off in Glasgow – but not for sporting-related reasons. In an official…
Continue Reading »

INDIA_RAPE_PROTEST_217126232

Angry villagers mob alleged suspects after another girl found hanging from tree in India

KOUSHIK DUTTA HINDUSTAN TIMES A 7-year-old girl was found raped, murdered and hanging from a tree in West Bengal on Thursday, resurfacing horrific memories from…
Continue Reading »

525020624_213567324

Indian baby whose head swelled to three times its size smiling and laughing a year later (w/ photos)

VANCOUVER DESI A three-year-old girl in New Delhi who was given little chance of survival after her head swelled to three times its normal size…
Continue Reading »

An Indian private tutor was caught on CCTV camera brutally beating a child. YouTube screenshot

Private tutor who mercilessly beat child finally arrested in Kolkata

IANS Kolkata  – Private tutor Pooja Singh, who was caught on video brutally thrashing a three-and-a-half-year-old child in Kolkata, was finally arrested Friday, police said….
Continue Reading »

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Mahesh Bhatt

Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt fasts during Ramadan as a tribute to his mother

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Mumbai – Mahesh Bhatt observes fasts during Ramadan as a tribute to his late mother and says on Eid he looks…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood Bigg Boss

Salman Khan’s charitable organization to help 100 kids with heart condition

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has announced that his Being Human (BH) charitable organization will help “100 genuine patients” suffering from heart condition…
Continue Reading »

Kareena Kapoor Khan

Kareena Kapoor: “Bajrangi Baijaan” has nothing to do with my personal life

IANS Mumbai – Kareena Kapoor and Salman Khan’s next “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” is about a Brahmin girl and Muslim boy, but the former says that it…
Continue Reading »