Daily Updates
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Labour MP says higher car insurance premiums for non-white people needs investigation

Labour MP Shabana Mahmood is calling on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to formally investigate disproportionate insurance premiums for Black and minority ethnic communities. She's written to explain why

21 January 2021 •

London man charged with modern slavery for coercing teen to sell drugs

A drug dealer who was caught luring and coercing a 13-year-old-boy through Snapchat to sell drugs has been caught and sentenced to two years in prison.

21 year-old Abdur Rakib from East London pleaded guilty to supplying class A drugs and modern slavery. "Rakib was part of a group who targeted a young child and pressured him into criminality with the lure of easy money," said a police statement. More at the Met Police site

21 January 2021 •

Two Sikh men in custody over large fight in West London

Two Sikh men were arrested and remanded in custody by the Metropolitan Police after a large brawl broke out near the biggest Gurdwara in Britain, in West London.

"Police were called at around 00:20hrs on Sunday, 17 January, to reports of a large group of around 30 men fighting with various weapons, including knives and swords, in the area of King Street," said police said in a statement.

Sukwir Singh, 22, and Lakha Singh, 29, both residents of Southall, appeared in court on Monday charged with affray and threatening a person with a blade in a public place.

21 January 2021 •

A village in Tamil Nadu celebrates Kamala Harris's win

The residents of Thulasendrapuram, the village in Tamil Nadu state that Kamala Harris's mom Shymala came from, have been celebrating. They've been handing out sweets and bursting firecrackers. One village member told the Times of India: "Our little hometown in Tamil Nadu is now known everywhere."

21 January 2021 •

Anger at police over claim women's charity is told: 'coercive control is normal in Sikh families'

A Midlands-based charity has said a women it was helping was told by a West Midlands Police officer that "coercive control is normal in Sikh families" and there is nothing they could do to help her. More on our story

20 January 2021 •

Basics of Sikhi - a British Sikh educational charity - is hacked

There are concerns this might be part of a broader attack against British Sikh groups, but its not yet clear.

20 January 2021 •

Book prize nominee Avni Doshi's second book snapped up

Publisher Hamish Hamilton has signed up author Avni Doshi's second novel, Protection , reports The Bookseller. The book will be published in spring 2023 and focuses on fathers and daughters.

The blurb says: "Set in India and America, Protection is narrated by the youngest of three children in a close-knit but unhappy family. Across the span of several generations, it traces the effects of patriarchy, tradition and trauma, forces which mark each family member deeply and differently."

Her critically acclaimed debut novel Burnt Sugar focused on a troubled mother-daughter relationship.

19 January 2021 •

Sathnam Sanghera on writing Empireland

While researching his new book, the Times writer Sathnam Sanghera found that our history of colonialism deeply divides the nation. And he came under fire from both sides. Great article in the Times magazine.

18 January 2021 •

Fire at multicultural centre in Belfast is a 'hate crime' say police

On Thursday last week a big fire broke out at the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association (BMCA) building in central Belfast.

Now the police are treating the incident as arson and a hate crime, after it was revealed owners revealed they had been subjected ‘to lot of hostility and Islamophobia’. More at Irish Times

18 January 2021 •

British Asians refusing vaccines because of myths and rumours

A worryingly high number of British Asians are refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine because of myths and rumours circulating on social media, the BBC is reporting today.

"I've had friends calling me telling me to convince their parents or their grandparents to have the vaccination because other family members have convinced them not to have it," one doctor told the BBC.

15 January 2021 •

Freida Pinto to play Noor Inayat Khan in TV series

Actress Freida Pinto, who burst into the limelight with Slumdog Millionaire, will play the role of Noor Inayat Khan in an upcoming British TV series, the Guardian reports. A broadcaster has not yet bought the TV series.

Titled 'Spy Princess' for now - the story is based on the real life of the Indian princess who went undercover to fight the Nazis for Britain during the Second World War. She was recently honoured with a Blue Plaque in London and some want her to be featured on a banknote.

15 January 2021 •

In Gujarati: The Covid-19 vaccines do not contain meat or alcohol

BBC News reporter Sima Kotecha has a message for Gujaratis

15 January 2021 •

Wolverhampton councillor in court over alleged £10,000 Covid-19 fraud

Wolverhampton Councillor Harman Banger, and his wife Neena Kumari, have appeared in court after allegedly committing fraud to claim £10,000 from a Covid-19 grant scheme. They both pleaded not guilty.

14 January 2021 •

Street outside Neasden Temple, London, renamed in honour of founder

The street outside the world-famous Neasden Temple in London, aka BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, has been renamed in honour of its founder Pramukh Swami Mahara. He inaugurated the mandir in 1995.

13 January 2021 •

Canadian cabinet minister Navdeep Bains steps down

Navdeep Bains MP today announced he is stepping down from the Canadian government and will not run as an MP at the next election, to spend more time with his family. Bains is MP for Mississauga-Malton and was Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

12 January 2021 •

Anita Rani to join BBC Women's Hour as presenter

She made the announcement on Twitter today

12 January 2021 •

US Rep. Pramila Jayapal gets Covid-19 after Capitol attack

Washington Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal tested positive for Coronavirus yesterday after being locked down on Capitol Hill last week, "where several Republicans not only cruelly refused to wear a mask but recklessly mocked colleagues and staff who offered them one," she tweeted.

She added: "Only hours after Trump incited a deadly assault on our Capitol, many Republicans still refused to take the bare minimum COVID-19 precaution and simply wear a damn mask in a crowded room during a pandemic—creating a superspreader event ON TOP of a domestic terrorist attack."

12 January 2021 •

UK MP writes to Sri Lankan HC over Muslim burials

A few weeks ago, the Muslim Council of Britain raised concerns and threatened legal action over Muslims (and Christians) in Sri Lanka being denied the opportunity to bury family members according to religious tradition. The SL government has mandated cremations for all victims of Covid-19.

Now the issue is being taken up by Manchester Gorton MP Afzal Khan

11 January 2021 •

Footballer Arjan Raikhy's debut 'an amazing feeling' for British Panjabis

11 January 2021 •

British Hindu groups urge PM over Hindu persecution in Pakistan

A number of British Hindu groups have written to Boris Johnson urging action over the persecution of Hindus in Pakistan. They want a government inquiry into the issue.

10 January 2021 •

Over 100 UK MPs & Lords sign letter on Indian farmers

UK MP Tanmanjeet Dhesi is keeping up the pressure on the UK government

9 January 2021 •

Car-theft gang ordered to pay back £1.1m with jail sentence

In December 2020, Mohammed Nadeem, Nadeem Arshad, Amaan Zameer and Zahir Hussain were jailed for running one of the biggest 'chop shop' rackets in Britain. The Birmingham-based gang snapped up damaged vehicles and fixed them using parts stripped from stolen-to-order cars.

Now, police say they've also been ordered to pay back more than £1-million after they were linked to 117 car thefts across the West Midlands and beyond.

8 January 2021 •

Biden appoints Vanita Gupta - first woman of color - as US Associate Attorney General

The United States will have its first woman of color and of Indian-immigrant parents, as its Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department. The Biden-Harris transition team made its announcement on Thursday.

Vanita Gupta said she was "honored to return to a Justice Department that will push every day for justice, accountability, and equality under the law". She added: "It will not be enough to simply restore what has been undermined or lost."

Ms Gupta is a leading and well-respected civil rights attorney and served as in the Civil Rights Division of the department from 2014 to 2017 during the Obama adminstration. More on her here

8 January 2021 •

Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols appoints Asian woman as CEO - a first

Manju Malhotra has become luxury retailer Harvey Nichols’s first official boss since 2017, after being promoted from its COO to CEO. She will have responsibility for all its UK and international stores as well as its online business.

Malhotra joined Harvey Nichols in 1998 as an internal audit officer and progressed through the company in roles including group head of finance and CFO. More here.

8 January 2021 •

Dad who raised six frontline NHS workers dies of Covid

Hard-working dad Ahsan-ul-Haq Chaudry died of coronavirus at Queen's Hospital, Romford despite following government advice and left behind six children who all work on the NHS front line. More at The Mirror

7 January 2021 •

Let Sayeeda Warsi take you on a soothing walk

7 January 2021 •

Prosecutor Nazir Afzal reveals threats he faced to family and home

Prominent prosecutor Nazir Afzal has revealed he was forced to move house after his campaign for an investigation into alleged lockdown breaches by Dominic Cummings apparently prompted attacks on his property.

"All I know is that in 25 years prosecuting some of the most organised criminals in the country, nobody has attacked my home." More at the Guardian.

7 January 2021 •

UK appoints new ambassador to India

Alex Ellis has been appointed British High Commissioner to India, succeeding Sir Philip Barton KCMG OBE, the UK government announced today.

5 January 2021 •

Why Indian Americans expected to become a growing political force

"With the growing numbers of Indian Americans in political office at levels as high as the vice presidency, many in the community are likely to be inspired to get even more involved — becoming a force in U.S. politics," write Sara Sadhwani and Maneesh Arora in the Washington Post.

4 January 2021 •

Tawseef Khan's debut book on 'The Muslim Problem' out in March

Tawseef is a British solicitor, activist and now author. His book, The Muslim Problem, is out on 4th March. The blurb: "Bold and provocative, The Muslim Problem is both a wake-up call for non-believers and a passionate new framework for Muslims to navigate a world that is often set against them."

4 January 2021 •

Pakistan extends ban on UK travel, except overseas Pakistanis

Pakistan is keeping its restrictions on UK travellers in place, with some exceptions with those holding the Pakistani passport or National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) cards.

4 January 2021 •

UK govt thanks charity Khalsa Aid for helping truck drivers

4 January 2021 •

India to partially restart flights to UK and back

A few weeks ago, both India and Pakistan had suspended flights to and from the UK over fears of the highly-infectious new Covid-variant. Now India is partially restarting them

1 January 2021 •

Tan Dhesi MP sends cross-party letter to PM on farmers protests

Slough MP Tan Dhesi has sent a letter to Boris Johnson on the Indian farmers protests, expanding on the question he asked earlier in Parliament.

31 December 2020 •

New head of Runnymede Trust slams UK government

The new head of the UK race think-tank Runnymede Trust, Halima Begum, says Boris Johnson's administration is prioritising white working class people at the expense of BAME people to win votes. The Guardian calls is a 'white nationalist' agenda.

29 December 2020 •

Nav Bhatia returns award from Canada India Foundation

Toronto Raptors 'superfan' Nav Bhatia built up a considerable media profile in Canada in recent years over his love of the basketball team. He was even featured in a recent car commercial.

He has now returned an award from the Canada India Foundation, after considerable public pressure. Full statement on Facebook.

29 December 2020 •

Sikh Council UK urges scrutiny over arrests

Last week, three British Sikh men were arrested for extradition to India, allegedly over their role in a murder in Panjab in 2009.

The Sikh Council UK is now urging the UK government to "ensure extradition requests are carefully scrutinised before execution."

27 December 2020 •

Sikh activist turned down for peerage

Why did Dabinderjit Singh Sidhu OBE, an advisor to the Sikh Federation UK, get turned down to a peerage? Sunny Hundal explores.

27 December 2020 •

What kept Priti Patel going in 2020? Er... police raids

Is Priti Patel a human? After this we're not sure

26 December 2020 •

UK newspapers apologise for blaming Pakistanis over Covid

The Telegraph posted this today. It wasn't the only one

24 December 2020 •