LONDON, UK (KP) – United Kingdom’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the cases against three British born Sikhs due to insufficient evidence for their involvement in the 2009 murder of Rulda Singh, a member of the ultra-right wing Hindu fascist organization the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The three men, Piara Singh Gill, Amritivir Singh Wahiwala and Gursharanvir Singh Wahiwala were arrested in December of 2020 by the West Midlands Police and were awaiting extradition to India in connection to the murder. The West Midlands Police investigation in 2011 however found no evidence against them.
Interestingly, no further evidence was presented by Indian authorities against the three Sikhs at Westminster Magistrates Court to this date. Due to the lack of evidence, the discharge orders for all three were issued by District Judge Michael Snow who presided over the appeal hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London.
Prosecutor Daniel Sternberg said: “The totality of the evidence in this matter is not sufficient to make out a case to answer for the requested persons to any of the charges in the extradition request.”
Human rights lawyer and activist Gareth Peirce stated that the case was dismissed not only due to a lack of evidence but also the Indian police officers that the prosecutions presented were themselves involved in various cases of disappearances, torture and murder.
“We hope what comes out of this is a recognition that it isn’t fitting to simply accept what a government says, but a duty to enquire far further,” Peirce added.
Crowds of supporters of the so-called “West Midlands 3” had gathered outside the court in support of the accused. An investigation into the case by the West Midlands Police dates back to 2011, with the judge noting that the issue has been a “long running saga” for the three men.
Their lawyer described the allegations against them as “wholly unjust”. The prosecution also had to concede that the evidence was “not sufficient to make out a case to answer” against them.
Human rights activists and UK Sikh organizations have maintained that the three British Sikhs were innocent of the charges, and this was just a publicity stunt by the Indian authorities to harass and defame the Sikh diaspora who routinely raises its voice against the human rights abuses against minority communities in India.
The Sikh Press Association condemned the UK government for spending taxpayer funds “on a sham trial and put three British Sikh men, their young families and their entire community through such an arduous ordeal to sweeten a post-Brexit trade deal with India.”