Police officer injured in #SikhLivesMatter protest outside Indian Embassy

@ amna_sayx
Arrests have been made as hundreds of “Sikh Lives Matter” protesters are rallying against Punjabi police brutality outside the Indian Embassy in London, bringing surrounding roads to a standstill.

According to the Sikh Press Association, the demonstrators are part of the global Sikh Lives Matter movement. 

Recent deaths in Punjab have again brought to light the plight of ethnic minorities in India. Sikhs have continually found themselves victims of the most severe kind of police brutality, leading to the death of unarmed protesters and even bystanders during gatherings,” the association said in a statement.

However, there still seems to be a lack of empathy regarding the suffering of Sikhs. As such, the social media #SikhLivesMatter has been created to draw attention to the acts of Indian government’s atrocities which often go unnoticed in the mainstream media,” it added.

'We are humans too' 

Police officers have surrounded a group of demonstrators, who are chanting “we are humans too.”

According to eyewitnesses at the scene, women are trapped inside the gridlock begging to be released.

On Twitter, one user said: “The protest outside the Indian High Commission resulted in the riot police dispersing crowds and arresting troublemakers #SikhLivesMatter

Killing Muslims over eating beef, raping nun in church & killing Sikhs on protest? #SikhLivesMatter HumansLivesMatter,” another user said.

According to the Sikh Press Association, a Kirpan, the ceremonial sword carried by Sikhs, has been confiscated by police.

'Officer rushed to hospital' 

A police officer has been rushed to hospital after suffering a head injury.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said there are no reports of further injuries.

“Whilst it was initially a peaceful protest the demonstrators blocked the roadway at the Aldwych and caused significant disruption to the central London road network. Police liaison officers attempted to negotiate with those present in order to facilitate peaceful protest and minimize the disruption to the public,” the force said.

“Additional officers, including those from the Mounted Branch, were mobilized to the area and a small group of protesters became violent towards police.

“During an altercation, one officer suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital. There are no reports of any of other injuries.”

'Media blackout' 

Last week, Punjabi police fired on Sikhs who were demonstrating against the desecration of the holy book Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) outside the historical Sikh shrine at village Bargari.

Two people died and several were left injured. The deceased have been identified as Gurjit Singh and Krishan Singh.

In response to the shooting, Sikh protesters torched vehicles and buildings.

British Sikhs claim there is a “media blackout” in Punjab over the deaths and protests.

Over 70,000 people have signed a petition calling for media outlets to cover these issues.

During the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live program last week, New Democratic member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Jagmeet Singh interrupted host Sian Williams to announce Sikhs are being killed in India.

The BBC host warned if he didn’t keep quiet, he’d be escorted out of the studio.

The show then cut to a pre-recorded clip. When the camera returned to the studio, Singh was no longer there.

Soon after, the BBC was accused of deliberately neglecting the issue.

However, a spokesperson for the broadcaster told VICE News the incident had been discussed on the BBC Asian Network.

The BBC is covering this story online and on radio and it has been discussed on the BBC Asian Network.

The BBC operates independently and impartially and makes its own editorial judgements.”