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Thursday 11 October 2023

Sikh Leader Jatinder Singh Bassi Faces Discrimination in Jury Service Due to Kirpan

The recent incident involving Jatinder Singh Bassi has left the Sikh community in dismay and profound concern. Mr. Bassi, a respected figure within the Sikh community, was unexpectedly barred from jury service solely due to his kirpan. This situation is particularly confounding as Mr. Bassi had previously fulfilled jury duty while wearing the kirpan without encountering any complications.

Jatinder Singh Bassi, a prominent figure in the Sikh community, has served as the President at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Smethwick, and as the Secretary General of the Sikh Council UK. His active involvement in community service and leadership positions underscores the positive contributions Sikhs make to society.

The Sikh Council UK is calling upon the Justice Minister to urgently investigate this matter and address the unjustified discrimination faced by Mr. Bassi. The incident raises questions about the consistency in applying policies regarding religious articles such as the kirpan, which is an integral and non-negotiable article of faith for Sikhs.

Sikhs have long faced discrimination, and this incident highlights the urgent need for systemic change. The Sikh Council UK is advocating for a thorough review of HM Courts and Tribunals Service policies to ensure that religious accommodations are respected and that no individual is unfairly hindered from participating in civic duties such as jury service.

Sikh Council UK emphasises that such incidents not only infringe upon the rights of Sikhs but contribute to a broader culture of discrimination that must be eradicated. Sikh Council UK is committed to working with relevant authorities to foster understanding and implement measures to end unnecessary discrimination against Sikhs and individuals from other religious communities.

Manmagun Singh Randhawa
Spokesperson, Sikh Council UK

As we observe Hate Crime Awareness Week, we, the Sikhs of the True Guru, reaffirm our unwavering commitment to sarbat da bhala – the well-being of all – and stand resolute in our mission to eradicate hatred while promoting the righteous path of life.

Akat Takht has implemented a prohibition on destination weddings that include Anand Karaj ceremonies conducted on beaches or at resorts. This directive is designed to address concerns regarding the potential violation of maryada.

Anand Karaj guidelines

The Sikh Council UK  strongly condemns the appalling treatment of Dabinderjit Singh by the Labour Party and the Cabinet Office over the last two years since Keir Starmer nominated Dabinderjit for a peerage in November 2020.

We’re asking Gurdwaras, Sikh Organisations and INDIVIDUALS to use the following templates to raise the issue with their local MP’s.

You can find out who your local MP is and how to contact them on :


Individual letter to Labour MPs
Individual letter to Conservative MPs

Individual letter to Ind, LD, SNP MPs 

Gurdwaras/Sikh Organisations

Gurdwara letter to Labour MPs with timeline

Gurdwara letter to Conservative MPs with timeline

Gurdwara letter to Ind, LD, SNP MPs with timeline


The Sikh Council UK has written to the Sir David Thompson QPM DL LLB, Chief Constable of West Midlands Police and Simon Foster, Police & Crime Commissioner requesting an urgent meeting to address the many concerns surrounding the conduct of the West Midlands Police held by the Sikh Community.

Two incidents conducted by the West Midlands Police have done significant damage to the trust of our community:

  1. The raids on the houses of young Sikh activists by the West Midlands Police accused of alleged murder in India. Proceedings in Court have concluded that the evidence to prosecute the individuals and make a case for their extradition was fabricated.And most recently:
  2. The conduct of West Midlands Police officer(s) where the dastaar of a Sikh gentleman was disrespected on 25th October 2021.

The Sikh Council UK urges all Gurdwaras, Sikh organisations and educational institutions to use their voices to speak up against all abuse It is important that we believe the victims of abuse and stand alongside them. The courage of victims and survivors to step forward and share their story so that no other man, woman, or child suffers, should be acknowledged and recognised.

Gurbani tells us, “that truth always prevails.” As a Qaum it is a stark wake-up call when incidents in our community come to light. We have a greater obligation to tackle those who discredit the Khalsa’s Bana and have used their positions to violate and abuse our brothers and sisters. One incident, one perpetrator is one too many.

Through the campaigning and advocacy of organisations such as ‘The Kaur Movement’, a spotlight has been shone to expose horrific cases of alleged sexual abuse in faith settings in the Sikh Community.

In managing allegations and responding to victims of abuse we must step away from cultural taboos and trends that have evolved. It is imperative that as a Qaum we implement and adhere to strict and robust safeguarding measures in light of Gurmat and UK law.

The Sikh Council UK also acknowledges that historic administrations of ours, and other community organisations, have failed to deal with safeguarding concerns in an acceptable manner. The new leadership team is now focused on ensuring safeguarding is treated with the upmost seriousness it requires.

We consider those who are involved in the day-to-day running of Gurdwaras, Sikh organisations and institutions have a moral and legal duty of care, trust and responsibility to ensure that all members of our community are kept safe from any type of abuse.

Should anyone experience abuse, of any kind, within any Sikh spaces or otherwise, we would urge formal reporting to committee members, specialist support groups and/or the police. Furthermore, we urge all parties to take any report or claim extremely seriously and with the appropriate level of protection and discretion.

An urgent review should be undertaken to ensure that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and best practise should be implemented and followed as a minimum standard for all Gurdwaras, Sikh Organisations and institutes.

ਯੂ.ਕੇ. ਦੇ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਵਲੋਂ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਪਾਵਨ ਸਰੂਪਾਂ ਦੀ ਵਿਦੇਸ਼ਾਂ ‘ਚ ਛਪਾਈ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਦੇ ਫੈਸਲੇ ਦਾ ਵਿਰੋਧ

ਯੂ.ਕੇ. ਦੇ ਸਿੱਖਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਭਾਵਨਾਵਾਂ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਗਟਾਵਾ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਸਿੱਖ ਕੌਂਸਲ ਯੂ.ਕੇ., ਭਾਰਤ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਹਰਲੇ ਦੇਸ਼ਾਂ ਵਿਚ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਪਾਵਨ ਸਰੂਪਾਂ ਦੀ ਛਪਾਈ ਲਈ ਪ੍ਰਿੰਟਿੰਗ ਪ੍ਰੈੱਸਾਂ ਸਥਾਪਤ ਕਰਨ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਬੀਬੀ ਜਗੀਰ ਕੌਰ ਦੇ ਐਲਾਨ ਦੀ ਨਿਖੇਧੀ ਕਰਦੀ ਹੈ। ਯੂਨਾਈਟਿਡ ਕਿੰਗਡਮ ਵਿਚ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਵਧੇਰੇ ਸਰੂਪਾਂ ਦੀ ਜ਼ਰੂਰਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੈ। ਯੂ.ਕੇ. ਦਾ ਸਿੱਖ ਭਾਈਚਾਰਾ ਯੂਰਪ ਦੇ ਕਿਸੇ ਵੀ ਹਿੱਸੇ ਵਿਚ ਕਿਸੇ ਵੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਦੀ ਪੂਰਤੀ ਕਰਨ ਦੇ ਸਮਰੱਥ ਹੈ।

ਅਸੀਂ ਸ਼੍ਰੋਮਣੀ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਨੂੰ ਬੇਨਤੀ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਆਪਣਾ ਐਲਾਨ ਤੁਰੰਤ ਵਾਪਸ ਲਵੇ ਅਤੇ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਜੀ ਦੇ ਨਵੇਂ ਸਰੂਪਾਂ ਦੀ ਛਪਾਈ ਬੰਦ ਕਰ ਦੇਵੇ।

ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਯੂਰਪ ਵਿਚ ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਪ੍ਰਬੰਧਕ ਕਮੇਟੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਇਸ ਸਬੰਧੀ ਸਰਵੇਖਣ ਭਰ ਕੇ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਭੇਜਣ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾਲਤਾ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਅਪੀਲ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ।

ਸਿਖ ਕੌਂਸਲ ਯੂ.ਕੇ

Sikh Council UK: UK Sikhs oppose SGPC’s decision of Printing Saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee ‘abroad’

The Sikh Council UK has been approached by many Gurdwaras to echo the sentiment of Sikhs in the UK by condemning the announcement of Bibi Jagir Kaur, President SGPC to set up facilities for printing saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee in foreign countries outside India. There is no need for additional saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee in the United Kingdom. Any need in mainland Europe can be met by the UK Sikh Community with relative ease.

We urge the SGPC to retract their announcement immediately and cease the printing of any new saroops of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee. The Sikh Council UK has launched a survey to gain further information from Gurdwara Management Committees. 

Sikh Council UK


Sikh Council UK was approached by large sections of the Sikh Community who were concerned around the funding, consultation and processes used in establishing a ‘Guru Nanak Chair’ at the University of Birmingham. Sikh Council UK wrote to the University expressing concerns.

We have received a response from the University. We are now sharing our communication and the universities response (see attached) with the wider community as we remain dissatisfied and concerned. We invite Sikh Organisations and Gurdwaras to come together and engage in an informed discussion to determine our next steps. Please email us your suggestions/concern on this issue at and we will be in touch to arrange a virtual meeting.

External/Internal Communications and Engagement Team

Sikh Council UK


  1. Our Email to University 
  2. University of Birmingham Response

Our response to Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report

2421- Please Read/Download Full Statement (PDF) Here

The Sikh Council UK, as the largest representative platform of Sikhs in the UK, is one of many organisations representing minority communities in the UK that is strongly disappointed by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report. Our main concerns are:

The lack of recognition that institutional and structural barriers still exist for many ethnic minority communities in employment, health and education, to name a few. One only needs to look at the makeup or lack of representation of ethnic minorities in senior and decision making roles in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

The report fails to recognise intersectionality and the multiple factors that lead to inequality, for example, the intersection between ethnicity, socio-economic and lack of social mobility.

Whilst we welcome the recommendation “to produce high-quality teaching resources to tell the multiple, nuanced stories of the contributions made by different groups that have made this country the one it is today.”

We strongly suggest this should not be at the expense of ignoring the suffering of millions of individuals during the British Empire. Nor the fact that colonialism involved exploitation of natural resources and minerals from many countries to benefit the British Empire for its rulers, leading to inequality and poverty that still exists in many of the former colonies.

All native men were forced to crawl the Kucha Kurrichhan on their hands and knees as punishment in Amritsar, 1919

The Sikhs are only too aware of the legacy left by the British Empire, in that the Sikh Kingdom that stretched from what is Northern India, parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan was annexed by the British. The British Empire nearly destroyed and replaced our indigenous education system. Treaties that were signed between the British rulers and Sikhs were never honoured, resulting in no restoration of the Sikh Kingdom. Instead, the state of Punjab was split between two nations, India and Pakistan during partition. Since then, the state of Punjab has always been treated differently to all other states by the Central Indian Government,

We welcome the recommendation to use data in a responsible and informed way. However, we are disappointed that there is no mention of communities like the Sikhs that are recognised as both a religious and ethnic group within the Equality Act 2010 but are never monitored for data collection in terms of ethnicity. So, any inequalities or disparities for the Sikh community are never highlighted or addressed.

The Government needs to address the concerns of minority groups appropriately and quickly as including our own community, many are losing faith in the process of state commissioned ‘independent’ research.

Please Read/Download Full PDF statement here

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has passed its second reading in parliament. The Sikh Council UK, as the largest representative platform of Sikhs in the UK, is concerned about the implications this has on fundamental human rights, including the right to protest peacefully.

Membership Secretary Bhervinder Singh said, “Like other minorities, we have safeguarded many of our rights through the democratic means of peaceful protest. A striking example of this is the 1983 protest march at Hyde Park that had over 40,000 attendees during the Mandla Sikh turban case.

Photograph of Key Sikh Leaders in 1983 during the Mandla Sikh-Turban Campaign

The latest and ongoing issue relates to India’s Anti-Farmer laws, which have led to several protests in the UK in recent months. We anticipate further protests to exert pressure on India’s government when lockdown is eased. We strongly oppose these new draconian measures that limit the length of protests, impose maximum noise-levels and prosecute activists for serious annoyance.

For many, this is a harrowing reminder of Britain’s colonial past in which the freedom of assembly was heavily restricted in many places, causing some of the darkest chapters in history, such as the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, in Amritsar 1919.”

However, the Sikh Council UK welcomes the tightening of child protection laws through this legislation which will amend Section 21 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. This means the definition of a person in a ‘position of trust’ will now include sports coaches and religious leaders, making it illegal for people in these categories to engage in sexual activity with any under 18s (including those over the usual age of consent, 16 years old).

We commend the hard work of the NSPCC, Sarah Champion MP, Chair of the APPG on Safeguarding in Faith Settings and Preet Kaur Gill MP, the Vice-Chair of this APPG and the Chair of the APPG on British Sikhs.


Sikh Council UK pays tribute and prays for the family and loved ones of Sarah Everard. We urge the UK Government to use this bill and other opportunities to immediately tackle the rising issue of violence against young girls and women.

-END –

Surjit Singh Dusanjh

Spokesperson, Sikh Council UK

Manmagun Singh Randhawa

Assistant Spokesperson, Sikh Council UK