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Call for inquiry into Sikh Temple protest trial

The UK's Sikh Federation is calling for an inquiry into why two brothers were taken to trial over a protest in Leamington.

The Coventry men have both been cleared of acting illegally during the demo at the town's Sikh Temple in September 2016. 

Gursharan Singh, 34, and Kulvinder Bir Singh, 38, had denied trying to disrupt a mixed faith wedding there. 

Gursharan Singh denied deliberately grabbing an official's tie and was found not guilty of common assault and religiously-aggravated assault. 

His brother Kulvinder was cleared of religiously-aggravated criminal damage. The Federation now wants a review of police conduct - calling the prosecutions unnecessary.

Sikh Council UK Head of Policy, Strategy and Legal Affairs Gurmel Singh Kandola said “We have a number of ongoing concerns, including the nature of briefings and meetings prior to the incident between police and Gurdwara representatives, the disproportionate policing operation on the day in question with the use of armed officers, the subsequent legal processes and charges pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service, the media appearances undertaken by police officers during the course of the matter and the inconsistencies with which counter-complaints were handled”.

He added “We are seeking meetings to discuss our concerns and the way forward so Warwickshire Police and other police forces do not make the same mistakes again. The sensational reporting of the matter following the events of the day has caused significant reputational damage to the community and we wish to ensure lessons are learnt going forward.”

Commenting on the case, Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the UK’s Sikh Federation, said: ‘We welcome the unanimous decision of jurors to acquit the two brothers and feel vindicated as we have said all along these prosecutions were totally unnecessary.

‘This was a lawful, peaceful protest where Warwickshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service appear to have been given incorrect and false information by members of the Leamington Gurdwara management committee.

‘There should be an independent investigation as this incident at that time brought the law-abiding Sikh community into serious disrepute with a massive over-reaction with armed police being deployed on the anniversary of 9/11.’

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