Sikh Youth UK leader released after police questioning over money raised
By Barfi Culture Team
5th July 2019

The leader of Birmingham-based campaigning group Sikh Youth UK was released by West Midlands police yesterday evening, the day after he was arrested by counter-terrorism officers in a dawn raid.

The arrest was not proof of any wrong-doing. But neither is his release proof that the saga is over. Barfi Culture understands that West Midlands Police are continuing their investigations.

In a video posted after he was released, SYUK leader Deepa Singh said he had always been "expecting a knock on the door" and had been "harasssed by the police" for a year since the raids in September last year.

He said he would continue to "take a stand" against the police and claimed they had been colluding with the Indian police to target Sikh activists. "The protests ain't going to stop, and the online campaigns against you, being banned, ain't going to stop."

He added: "If we look where all this came from, its the raids in September. These raids were based on Indian intelligence and Indian media reports that Sikh Youth UK and me, financially support Khalistani militancy in Punjab. Now, since the raids in September, its given them nine months to go through all our financial records, transactions, and you just just to please India, to support their false allegations."

"Yesterday was the second raid by counter-terrorism unit. And this was now investigating good-will donations by the sangat (Sikh community) to Sikh Youth UK being fraudulently used for allegedly Khalistani militancy in Punjab. One message back yeah, you can make a choice... have a look into how deep and serious this collusion is, to defame our characters. We're not going to be silenced. The movement's going to continue. Khalistan zindabad."

In September last year Sikh Youth UK claimed to have raised over £250,000 after a fundraising drive through the Sikh Channel and JustGiving, to support "the primary victims of sexual abuse & exploitation" for a SMART center in the West Midlands. The final amount came to £357,012. Sikh Youth UK is not a registered charity and does not release any public accounts.

Barfi Culture contacted West Midlands Police this morning.

A spokesperson said that two individuals who were arrested on Wednesday morning have now been released on bail, pending further inquiries.

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