| Media Statement | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 27 Oct 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Media statement on the joint memorandum handed over to the Indian High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur today (27 Oct 2015)
[For Immediate Release]
KUALA LUMPUR (27 Oct 2015): Some 1,000 Sikhs from all corners of Malaysia converged in Kuala Lumpur today to register their protest against the desecration of the Sikh scriptures in Punjab, India, and to condemn the Punjab police brutality in handling peaceful protests there.
The peaceful protest in Kuala Lumpur was also to mark the handing over of a memorandum to the Indian authorities on the desecration of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS), as the Sikh scripture is called, and the police brutality.
The memorandum, signed by 30 Sikh organisations and 125 Gurdwara Sahibs (Sikh temples) in Malaysia, is addressed to Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi and Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal.
“The Sikhs of Malaysia, therefore, strongly urge the Indian Government and Punjab state authorities to take action against the perpetrators of these atrocities and demand that the safety and freedom of the Sikh people to practise their religion be preserved,” according to the memorandum.
The memorandum was sent through the Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr. T.S Tirumurti.
The Sikhs held a peaceful gathering at Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, where the Indian High Commission office is located.
“We, the Sikh Societies and Organisations in Malaysia, write to express our concerns following the loss of lives and use of lethal force by the authorities to manage the peaceful protest in Punjab, India. As one voice representing Malaysian based Sikh Organizations, we are deeply troubled by these events and the violence which is escalating in Punjab and across India,” according to the memorandum.
“There have been continuous reports of the desecration of The Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji across Punjab which have hurt Sikh sentiments and caused deep grievance among Sikhs worldwide,” the memorandum adds.
BACKGROUND TO THE PUNJAB INCIDENT
Pages of the SGGS, the Sikh Holy scriptures, were found scattered on the streets on 12 October 2015, at the village of Bargari in Faridkot, Punjab. In the following days, fresh incidents of desecration were reported in at least five other places in Punjab [See details in Fact Sheet].
Subsequent to the incidences and in the absence of any action by the police and state authorities against the perpetrators, Sikhs in Kotpura Town in Faridkot, held a peaceful protest on Wednesday, 21 October 2015. The Sikhs during the protest sat in congregation and were engaged in prayers when the police all of a sudden and without provocation turned violent and senselessly charged with brutal force, using batons, sticks (lathi), tear gas, water canons and opening fire on the unarmed peaceful protestors killing 2 Sikhs and seriously wounding scores more. Some 100 Sikhs were injured, according to eye witnesses.
On Thursday, 22 October 2015, another peaceful protest was held in Behbal Kalan Village, Punjab, where 2 more peaceful protestors were shot and killed and a third man was hospitalised with gun-shot wounds.
The peaceful protestors in Kuala Lumpur today included Sikhs from the states of Johor, Malacca, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Perak.
The memorandum is also being sent to United Nations Malaysia, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Amnesty International Malaysia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
– Mr Manmohan Singh +6019.3809315
– Mr Harcharanjit Singh +6019.2299800
ISSUED ON BEHALF OF SIKH SOCIETIES & ORGANISATIONS IN MALAYSIA
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Full force at Hong Kong peaceful march (Asia Samachar, 26 Oct 2015)
30 orgs, 125 gurdwaras in Malaysia condemn use of lethal force in Punjab (Asia Samachar, 25 Oct 2015)
Beadbi issue ‘wake up call’ for Indonesian Sikhs (Asia Samachar, 23 Oct 2015)
Sikhs worldwide in 40-day prayer protest – STAR (Asia Samachar, 21 Oct 2015)
Hong Kong Sikhs to protest SGGS beadbi on Oct 25 (Asia Samachar, 20 Oct 2015)
GerakSikh sends memo on Punjab ahead of the pack (Asia Samachar, 20 Oct 2015)
CSGB urges Singapore Sikhs to do personal prayers for Punjab (Asia Samachar, 20 Oct 2015)
Malaysian Sikhs discuss action on Punjab issue, Singapore to issue statement tomorrow (Asia Samachar, 19 Oct 2015)
Lawyer challenges Akal Takht order on new gurdwaras (Asia Samachar, 27 Sept 2015)
Akal Takht approval for new gurdwaras worldwide edict comes under question (Asia Samachar, 12 Sept 2015)
The fallen amongst us (Asia Samachar, 22 Aug 2015)
Nanak Shah Faqir: A Controversy of Epic Proportions – PART TWO (Asia Samachar, 5 June 2015)
Nanak Shah Faqir: An Epic of Sorts – PART ONE (Asia Samachar, 4 June 2015)
Moshi Moshi debacle and Sikh Reht Maryada (Asia Samachar, 12 Jan 2015)
5 lessons from Moshi-Moshi farce (Asia Samachar, 11 Jan 2015)