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UK Sikhs proud of keeping rioters at bay

London , Sat, 13 Aug 2011 ANI

London, Aug.13 (ANI): The Sikh community in London is basking in the glory of the pat received from British Prime Minister David Cameron for resisting mobsters and violence during the recent riots in the country.


On Thursday, Cameron had praised the Sikh community for protecting the neighbourhood of Southall during the five days of violence and protecting it from looted.


A provincial lawmaker representing Southall, Virendra Sharma informed media persons on Friday (August 12) that the entire country is proud of Indians, the Sikh community in particular, for standing against violence.


"It is not only me, it is not the whole community in Southall it is the whole country that felt proud to have citizens like the Asian community living in the country and taking their responsibilities seriously. Not only asking for rights but also willing to contribute back to the society, protecting the interests of the society which includes protecting the properties and the lives of the citizens. There were volunteers, they were supporting the local police and that made everybody feel proud and also the Prime Minister (David Cameron) felt proud to have citizens in the country like the Asian community," said Sharma.


Cameron had said, "We saw it in the hundreds of people who stood guard outside Southall Temple, protecting it from vandalism. This is a time for our country to pull together."


President of the Shri Guru Singh Gurudwara at Southall, Himmat Singh Sohi thanked God for showing him the light in the desperate times when innocent lives faced peril.


He also hailed the members of the Sikh community and other Asians for standing up with a cool mind and also braving the odds.


"It is Almighty doing all these things through the community and myself, so we got together and asked and briefed the community, our faith, Gurudwara, and they said we are big strength because of the sort we have come out as a neighbourhood watch if some thing we can cooperate with the police and work together. That is very good outcome of people to defend themselves at their home, this is our right, So that is why by the grace of god and support of the community so that it what we achieved not myself and the community," said Himmat Singh Sohi.


Meanwhile, an MBA student of Wales University Surinder Pal Singh who also participated in the struggle to protect the residents and Gurudwara of Southall recounted the days of the riots.


"I had just come over here to seek blessings but after coming here I realised that even the Gurudwara can be attacked, hence I waited here as Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book) is everything for us," said Surinder Pal Singh.


Since Saturday (August 06), violent riots have broken out in several cities of England, with irate demonstrators setting buildings on fire and looting shops with brazen impunity.


The riots began in Tottenham town of north London, after a peaceful march to protest the death of 19-year-old Mark Duggan in a police shootout turned violent.


What began as a spark transformed into a blaze of violence, spreading to surrounding regions and even to cities and towns outside the capital, London.


Youth fought running battles with police in the northern cities of Manchester and Liverpool as well as in the Midlands overnight Tuesday.


Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday said "a fight back is under way" to restore law and order to Britain's streets despite rioting, looting and arson by gangs of youths spreading from London to other cities.


The unrest poses a new challenge to Cameron as Britain's economy struggles to grow while his government slashes public spending and raises taxes to cut a yawning budget deficit - moves that some commentators say have aggravated the plight of young people in inner cities.


It also reveals to the world an ugly side of London less than a year before it hosts the 2012 Olympic Games. By Cynthia Chandran (ANI)


Read More: Soh | Sahi | Fri | Guru | Southa | Temple

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