Furor over UK MP’s tweet on Golden Temple attack blaming ‘Hindu terrorist’

London: A now-deleted tweet by a prominent British Sikh MP calling the unidentified youth who was killed at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on Saturday a “Hindu terrorist” sparked fury amongst the British Hindu community and a rebuke from the Indian high commission in London.

The youth allegedly jumped over a barrier into the sacred area of the holiest shrine of Sikhs where the Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest book of Sikhism, is placed, and then grabbed a diamond-encrusted sword and committed sacrilege. He was then manhandled and lost his life. He has not yet been identified.

Whilst the sacrilege has sparked fury among Sikhs in Britain, British Hindus are angry with Preet Kaur Gill’s remarks. Gill, a British Sikh MP, initially tweeted on Saturday: “Hindu terrorist prevented from an act of violence at the Sikh holy shrine of Harmandir Sahib against Sikhs.”

She then deleted the tweet and replaced it with: “No place of worship or community should be targeted in this way. Awful scenes from Harmandir Sahib.”

But the deleted tweet is being shared on social media and WhatsApp and caught the attention of the Indian high commission.

Vishwesh Negi, minister (press and information) at the Indian high commission, said: “The High Commission of India is constrained to unequivocally repudiate the public comment by a member of the British Parliament regarding a crime that occurred in India even before the Indian law enforcement authority could investigate or comment or declare their finding.” He added that the Indian mission “is concerned at the effect that such commentary by a foreign MP may have on inter-communal harmony and peace in the British Indian community.”

Trupti Patel, president of the Hindu Forum of Britain, called on Gill to apologize and said she was going to report Gill to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. “The Hindu community is shocked to see this tweet by the chair of the APPG for British Sikhs. Without checking facts, she believed the gossip of others and tweeted spreading anti-Hindu fake news when she knows very well that Hindus only act in self-defense and never attack anyone.”

One diaspora group, Reach UK, accused Gill, in a tweet, of inciting religious hatred amongst Hindus and Sikhs in Britain. Rashmi Samant, a former Oxford student now living in Udupi, Karnataka, who was forced to quit as president of the Oxford University students’ union owing to her social media posts, tweeted: “We live in times where British MPs @houseofcommons can be employed to defend mob-lynching in countries beyond their jurisdiction.”

Image courtesy of (Image courtesy: opindia.com)

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