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Sikhs from across BC gather in Vancouver to protest India's government

Over 100 Sikhs from across BC gathered outside the Indian consulate today at 325 Howe Street to protest the Indian government. The Vancouver protest coincided with India’s Republic Day, and the annual protests are targeting the Indian government’s mistreatment of Sikhs.
Wednesday’s protest was focused on Sikh political prisoners, many of whom have been imprisoned for decades. “Countless Sikhs are imprisoned in India under much criticized laws,” reads a statement from the Sikh Press Association (SPA). The laws in question include TADA and UAPA, which are terror laws that the Indian government introduced. Some, including SPA, have suggested that those laws have been misused. SPA also indicates that human rights groups have criticized those laws “for how they erase basic judicial process.” The case of Jagtar Singh Johal
One reason there is so much concern for Canadian Sikhs is the story of Jagtar Singh Johal.
Johal was a UK citizen who travelled to India for his wedding. According to SPA, he was out shopping with his wife in India when a sack was thrown over his head and he was “bundled into a van.”
“Days later he was implicated in a murder case. He has since reported being tortured to the UK Consulate. Four years later, he has not been formally charged with a crime.”
The allegations against Johal were never proven in court, and he is one of the many political prisoners that Sikhs are fighting for. Johal’s story has sparked protests in many parts of the world.

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