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Okanagan Sikh community silent protest in Kelowna

KELOWNA – More than 200 Sikhs took part in a silent protest in Kelowna on Sunday to stand up against what they call “intolerable acts” towards their holy book.

“It’s the holiest and most sacred book for the Sikh Religion,” says AJ Gill who was participating in the demonstration.

Organizers say the protest was in response to an incident in India a few weeks ago, when the Guru Granth Sahib was found torn to pieces and scattered in back alleys.

It happened in a village in the northern state of Punjab, and they say a lack of police action led Sikhs in India to hold a peaceful protest, which was disrupted when police fired at the crowd.

“Two individuals were killed and 30 people were injured doing a peaceful protest just like this one [in Kelowna]. So we are doing this demonstration to show that it is a right for everyone to be able to protest against something peacefully and not be shot at,” says Gill.

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Gill adds a media blackout continues in India. That’s why in Kelowna, supporters are trying to bring attention to the matter and to urge Canadian leaders to speak out.

“I would like to encourage our elected leaders to support the Sikhs by voicing our concerns. Our community is deeply concerned of the events taking place in India,” says Tarsem Singh Goraya, President of the Kelowna Gurdwara Guru Amar Das.

The Kelowna event is one of several peaceful protests taking place around the world.

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