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According to a UK investigation, Sikh separatists exaggerate their importance and get too much attention.

Concerns have been expressed by UK religious consultant Colin Bloom over the intimidation and coercion of moderate Sikhs by outlaw Khalistani forces.

The intimidation and coercion of Sikh communities in Britain by outlaw Khalistani elements has been mentioned by a UK religious advisor. The rift produced by Khalistani sympathizers is one of the main areas of worry among tiny pockets of Sikh communities in Britain, according to Colin Bloom, an Independent Faith Engagement Adviser appointed by the UK government. In his report titled “The Bloom Review,” Bloom highlighted the issues that needed attention. He specifically mentioned the power struggle going on in various British Sikh groups about representation at official levels and recognition as the leading Sikh organization in the UK.

The study mentioned the conflict that Sikh separatists had generated among certain British Sikh communities, referring to it as “an extremist fringe ideology within the pro-Khalistan movement.”

The actions of certain people and organizations that, according to evidence, feed anti-Muslim and sectarian attitudes as well as legitimize discriminatory and sexist behavior are the third area of concern, the report added.

Although the pro-Khalistani elements mingled with mainstream Sikh communities, according to Bloom, “most consider their intimidating and subversive methods alien to the basic tenets of the Sikh faith.” British Sikh respondents cautioned the government that failing to differentiate between subversive extremist goals and mainstream Sikh groups will lead to the UK turning a “blind eye toward religious extremism.”

The reviewer discovered several instances of people being harassed and intimidated by Khalistani elements for publicly opposing them while collecting evidence for the report. The 2019 report for the Commission for Countering Extremism, “The changing nature of activism among Sikhs in the UK today,” also noted the difficulty in Sikhs speaking out against the radicals when some potential respondents reportedly declined to participate out of a fear of backlash and others chose anonymity.

In order to provide suggestions on how to interact with religious organizations in England, the UK government established an Independent Faith Engagement Adviser in October 2019. The assessment sought to find methods for assisting religious organizations, encouraging tolerance and collaboration within religious communities, combating harmful behaviors, and advancing ideals like equality, freedom of expression, democracy, and the rule of law. The assessment also sought to ensure that the Civil Service complies with its obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty and to raise its level of religious literacy.
The report was made public weeks after Sikh extremists tore down the Indian flag at the Indian High Commission in London during the crackdown on radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh, who is now in custody, and his followers in India. While the UK government withheld information on individuals detained for trespassing due to privacy rules, the Delhi Police listed three Sikh radicals as the primary suspects in the FIR: Avtar Singh nicknamed Khanda, Gurcharan Singh, and Jasvir Singh.

The study also makes the fascinating observation that the Pakistani portion of the Punjab is not included in the territorial claim made by pro-Khalistani forces for a distinct Sikh homeland claim.

“It is not entirely clear if the motivation for these extremists is faith-based or not,” the statement said.

According to some respondents, the main reason why some of these groups or individuals have sought to artificially inflate their influence and legitimize dubious positions or tactics by using the ‘Sikh’ label to lobby political bodies is because some of these groups or individuals, who make up a small minority, attract excessive attention and stoke divisive sentiments in sectors of Sikh communities.

“Some groups compete for power by disguising themselves as human rights activists, presenting a false appearance of legitimacy,” it said.

The research also expresses worry about how Khalistani groups and supporters utilize social media to foment hate and violence against Muslims, Hindus, and even fellow Sikhs who hold opposing ideologies.

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