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Three British Sikhs face potential extradition on alleged involvement of a 2009 murder in India

Three British Sikh men of Indian origin have been arrested by the UK police in connection with the murder of Rulda Singh, a member of the Hindu-supremacist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), in India in 2009. 

In a series of dawn raids, Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala and his brother Amritivir Singh aged 37 and 40 respectively were arrested in Coventry and Piara Singh Gill, 38, was arrested in Wolverhampton. 

Extradition warrants have been issued by the Westminster magistrates’ court against the three men on suspicions of conspiracy to murder. 

All three arrested have lived their whole lives in the UK and Sikh organizations in the UK have raised grave concerns regarding the arrests. 

In 2010, the UK police arrested four British Sikhs on suspicions of conspiring to murder Rulda Singh and acquitted all four in early 2011.

Bhair Amrik Singh, a representative of the Sikh Federation (UK), impugned the validity of the latest arrests asking why were “their (the detainees’) doors smashed down for a crime committed eleven years ago in India and for which they were questioned and released 10 years earlier”.  

The Sikh Press Association said the arrests would leave the whole Sikh community vulnerable to extradition and suppress activism against the human rights abuses and quell Sikh dissent against the Indian government. 

"If the three are extradited they would almost certainly be tortured and have no chance of a fair trial," Bhai Amrik Singh said. 

The Sikh community also alleges that the arrests have to do with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s visit to India in 2020. The Secretary met with Indian National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, a noted anti-terrorism hawk

The arrests coincide with the widespread protests Sikh farmers have been mounting against the passing of three controversial laws by the Indian government that supposedly deprives the farmers of support from the government. Amidst an extremely inclement cold wave sweeping North India, the Sikh farmers have camped in the capital, New Delhi, to demonstrate against the laws. 

The murdered Rulda Singh was a leader of Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, the Sikh wing of the RSS. The Hindu-nationalist organization is deeply connected to the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is currently in power in India. 

Read more from the Times of India

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