Patel’s old speech on ‘Sikh separatism’ causes a row

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Patel was born in London to a Gujarati family, and became Home Secretary of the UK in 2019 when Boris Johnson became prime minister…reports Asian Lite News

An old speech of Priti Patel, the home secretary of the United Kingdom, has resurfaced on social media and caused considerable controversy.

While speaking to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC on 19th November last year about Islamic extremism, Patel said, “Sikh separatist extremism has also caused considerable tensions in recent years.”

“While we stoutly defend freedom of expression, it must always be within the law. We have expanded our disruptions capability to better address those people who seek to radicalise but who operate, often intentionally, below legal thresholds,” Patel had said.

Her words have left Sikh activists confused and angry.

Dabinderjit Singh, who serves as the principal adviser of the Sikh Federation (UK), said that he had been enquiring about Patel’s comments for weeks now. He also said that no government official has been able to provide an explanation for her controversial remarks.

“No one has been able to. This is not just a speech but a speech on the UK government website. If Sikhs had carried out a bomb blast in Britain, it may have been legitimate to say that. We are shocked the home secretary has made such remarks… What incident in Britain would make the home secretary start saying she is worried about Sikh separatist extremists? Is it on the back of the 2020 Khalistan referendum in Britain? She says she has banned the political wing of Hamas and the undertone is that that is why she is mentioning Sikhs,” said Dabinderjit Singh, principal adviser of the Sikh Federation (UK).

Patel was born in London to a Gujarati family, and became Home Secretary of the UK in 2019 when Boris Johnson became prime minister.

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