The Sikh Federation has called for an independent investigation into the “totally unnecessary” prosecution of two brothers who were arrested during a protest at a Sikh temple.
A recent trial at Birmingham Crown Court heard that 55 protesters were detained after armed police were deployed to the temple in Leamington Spa on September 11, 2016.
IT worker Gursharan Singh, 34, was found not guilty of common assault and religiously aggravated assault after denying that he had deliberately grabbed the tie of an official at the gurdwara in Leamington. His brother Kulvinder Singer, 38, was cleared of causing damage to laminated signs and religiously aggravated criminal damage.
Both men said the demonstration was a protest against alleged misuse of funds at the temple.
In defending Kulvinder Singh, Talbir Singh of No5 Barristers’ Chambers told the trial that lawful protest had been part of the fabric of British society for many, many years, and that the case was ‘the largest hammer you will ever see to crack the smallest nut’.
He said: “You may think he was motivated by a love for his faith. There is no evidence to demonstrate that this was motivated, even in part, by hostility towards a religious group.”
Commenting on the case, Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the UK’s Sikh Federation, said: “We welcome the unanimous decision of jurors to acquit the two brothers and feel vindicated as we have said all along these prosecutions were totally unnecessary.
“There should be an independent investigation as this incident at that time brought the law-abiding Sikh community into serious disrepute with a massive over-reaction with armed police being deployed on the anniversary of 9/11.”