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Redbridge Sikhs still seek answers over 1984 Amritsar massacre 30 years on

Pilgrims sit at the edge of the moat surrounding the Golden Temple of Amritsar in India's Punjab region. Pilgrims sit at the edge of the moat surrounding the Golden Temple of Amritsar in India's Punjab region.

Thursday, June 12, 2014
11:29 AM

Sikhs from across the borough joined a crowd of 30,000 in remembrance of the 1984 military attack on the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, India, on Sunday.

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Coaches took Sikhs from Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Seven Kings, to Hyde Park where they marched to Trafalgar Square to attend the rally.

Speakers at the rally included minister of state for justice Simon Hughes MP, MEP Jean Lambert, and Sukhbir Singh, of Clayhall.

Mankamal Singh, of Singh Sabha, Seven Kings, appeared on the Breakfast show on BBC London 94.9 on Sunday to discuss the significance of the event.

Speaking after Sunday’s event, Mr Singh said: “People wanted to get together and remember just like people wanted to remember World War One or D-Day.

“This is the biggest individual event Sikhs have in this country.”

Gurdip Singh Hundal, president of Singh Sabha, Seven Kings, also attended the historic event.

Sikhs are still seeking the truth three decades on from the massacre where around 400 were killed after India troops stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Mr Hundal said: “Most of the people I have spoken to, they want to know the truth, why it happened and how many people died - we need to know the truth.”

“Everyone felt it a lot, and even now because there was actually no confirmation or apology from anyone.”

Balvinder Saund, chair of the Sikh Women’s Alliance, said she was proud to be part of the thousands who marched last weekend.

“[The] atmosphere was sombre in remembrance, the whole crowd reciting Waheguru Satnam as they walked in unison with the same sorrow in their hearts, commemorating 30 years since the attack on the Golden Temple.”

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