Petition update

Serious complaints submitted to the Charity Commission

Guru Nanak Gurudwara (Leics) Sangat

Jul 31, 2016 — The following serious complaints have recently been submitted to the Charity Commission.

Below is an extract of the detailed information submitted to the Charity Commission.

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Charity Name: Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Sikh Temple)
Charity Number: 254837
Charity Address: 9 Holy Bones, Leicester, LE1 5LJ
Charity Phone Number: 0116 251 7460

We the Sikh temple members (congregation) are writing to make a serious complaint about the above-mentioned charity (Sikh Temple) in terms of it:
1. Harming people
2. Being involved in illegal activity
3. Not doing what it claims to do

Specifically, the issues are related to:
1. The standard of service provided by a charity
2. Criminality within or involving a charity
3. Serious non-compliance in a charity that damages or has the potential to damage its reputation and/or the reputation of charities generally
4. Serious non-compliance in a charity, which left unchecked, could damage public trust and confidence in the Charity Commission as an effective regulator

The charity number 254837 has:
1. Employed an illegal immigrant over the past 5-6 years, which can be sufficiently evidenced [Involved in illegal activity].

2. Ignored frequent serious complaints about racism on charity premises, over a 1.5-year period [Unacceptable standard of service provided by a charity and serious non-compliance that has already damaged the charity’s (temple’s) public reputation and the reputation of similar charities (Sikh temples)].

3. Threatened a temple member with physical violence, on charity premises, which has been reported to Leicester Police [Harming people and unacceptable standard of service provided by a charity].

4. Harassed and victimized a temple member on charity premises [Harming people and serious non-compliance that has damaged its reputation. Unacceptable standard of service by a charity].

5. Ignored an online petition against its facilitation of racism on charity premises, on Change.org since 23 April 2016, which now has over 340 supporters. Moreover, a major Panjabi newspaper called ‘Des Pardes Weekly’, which reaches 80% of Punjabi community in the UK and Europe, has printed a 2-page statement by temple members issued on 22nd July 2016, which has highlighted the charity’s gross negligence in handling serious complaints about racism, over a 1.5-year period. This newspaper reaches hundreds of thousands of Sikhs/Punjabis, meaning this serious issue is already being discussed in the public domain; therefore if this serious non-compliance is left unchecked, it could damage public trust and confidence in the Charity Commission as an effective regulator.

6. Not acted in line with its core objective which is “to promote the spiritual teachings of the Sikh religion and the maintenance of the doctrines on which it rests”. On the contrary, the charity has supported a racist illegal immigrant, who has refused free food to eligible Non-Sikhs, which is COMPLETELY against the spiritual teachings of the Sikh religion and the maintenance of one of the doctrines (institution of Free Kitchen) on which it rests, as is racism. Moreover, by ignoring the serious complaints of Sikh temple members over 1.5 years, it has not served the Sikh community members, as it is supposed to [The charity is not doing what it claims to do].


-Please provide a summary of the evidence

Evidence 1: A temple committee member (part of the charity’s management committee) is willing to testify in writing/verbally that the illegal immigrant Joginder Singh has been paid cash in hand on many occasions, over the past 5-6 years, for his work as a part-time cook, at the temple’s kitchen, located on charity premises and for his role during night-shifts for ‘Akhand Paath’ ceremonies, held at the charity premises.

Many temple members [members of public] are also willing to confirm the same, as Joginder has been paid cash for rendering his services during religious ceremonies, over the past 5-6 years. Joginder has been paid £20 during his night shifts for ‘Akhand Paath’ ceremonies and he has been a paid sum of varying amounts, for his work as a cook, which can all be testified in writing/verbally.

The temple members, with whom Joginder has discussed his illegal immigration status and circumstances in the UK, will testify this in writing/verbally. He has informed us that he destroyed his Indian passport, after he overstayed, hence if you ask him to prove his immigration status in the UK, he will not be able to do this.

We had told the charity to check Joginder’s passport and right to work in the UK, in our Special Delivery letter sent in April 2016, however, they ignored our request and have continued employing Joginder, without checking his legal status (they already know he’s illegal, hence the existing cash-in-hand arrangement). If Joginder suddenly stops coming to the temple, his home address is 123 XXXXXXXXXXX Road, Leicester, LEX XXX and his mobile number is XXXXX XXX 593. We also have his address in India and a telephone number of his family member, who can confirm that Joginder is from India, if required. Please contact us on email provided for further information.

Also, Joginder entered The UK on a two-year Working Holiday Maker visa about 7-9 years ago, following which he legally worked at XXXXXXXXXX Restaurant, XX Narborough Road, Leicester, LEX XXX (0116 XXX XXXX). If you contact the restaurant owner, he will confirm Joginder worked there up until his visa expired. After Joginder overstayed in the UK, he started working for cash in hand at the charity premises and has worked set hours between 4pm and 9pm, over past 5-6 years, never missing a day, which can be testified by hundreds of temple members in writing/verbally. CCTV footage can also be examined, if required and available.

The charity has knowingly been involved in an illegal activity, by employing an illegal immigrant, making cash-in-hand payments for his work, which can all be evidenced. The fact that this has been made public via the online petition against the charity, along with the newspaper articles published in a Europe-wide Panjabi paper discussing this serious issue, have collectively damaged its reputation as a charity.

Evidence 2: The Special Delivery letter sent on 4th April 2016, to the charity (Addressed to Trustee and Temple President Mr. Ajmer Singh Basra). The Royal Mail Tracking Number is AE854146080GB. In this letter, we the Sikh temple members gave the charity a deadline to terminate the part-time employment of the illegal immigrant Joginder, in the temple’s kitchen, because he had been refusing free food to eligible Non-Sikhs, which is against the principles of the Sikh faith and the institution of the ‘Free Kitchen’, service started by the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Sahib. It is also against the key objective of the charity, which is to promote the spiritual teachings of Sikhism.

By refusing free food to eligible Non-Sikhs, the racist illegal immigrant Joginder has acted in an anti-Sikh way and has defamed our Sikh temple, as eligible Non-Sikhs who’d left hungry would have thought wrongly of Sikhs and Sikh temples in general, because of Joginder’s racist words and/or actions, which has deeply upset temple members.

By not terminating Joginder’s employment, the charity has contributed towards the defamation of the charity, as well as the damage to its reputation. We can provide evidence in writing/verbally about the times when verbal complaints were made over a 1-year period.

A committee member (charity management) will also testify that the committee received verbal complaints, as he witnessed many incidents of racial discrimination and/or received complaints from temple members/Non-Sikhs, given that he works the evening shift (same time as Joginder’s shift), hence he was the one who’d often hear the complaints, but after he’d put these forward to the committee, they did nothing, which frustrated him, as he was also upset with Joginder’s anti Sikh behavior, but he couldn’t make any decisions without the committee’s agreement, which he will happily confirm.

The letter had threatened to make public the fact that the charity had employed an illegal immigrant for cash-in-hand work, if Joginder wasn’t removed from his part-time position as a cook. The charity management completely ignored our letter and continued to employ Joginder. He is still working there between 4pm and 9pm, as of the submission of this complaint to the Charity Commission.

Why didn’t the charity ask Joginder for his passport and visa documents, when we had alerted them via the letter that he is an illegal immigrant? Why has he continued working 7 days a week, for 4 months, AFTER they were notified about his illegal immigration status in the UK?

Joginder is an illegal immigrant. What would happen if he were to harm a member of public (men/women/children)? As he is an illegal immigrant, he doesn’t exist in the system and it could be difficult to trace and locate him because of this. How can the charity allow a lawbreaker to come into close proximity with thousands of vulnerable elderly people, women and children, who attend the temple during 4pm and 9pm, every day? The charity should be ashamed of itself, as this point was made in the Special Delivery 4 letter months ago, yet he’s still working there, as of today.

Ignoring serious complaints about racism over a 1.5-year period is an unacceptable standard of service provided by a charity, along with employing an illegal immigrant for 5-6 years, which is illegal in the UK, in all contexts.

Evidence 3: Given that the charity/committee ignored our Special Delivery letter, we the concerned and frustrated temple members were forced to start an online petition on the Change.org website, on 23rd April 2016, which can be viewed on the link below. The online petition now has over 340 supporters and has been active for over 3 months, yet the charity/committee has continued to employ the illegal immigrant and racist Joginder. The online petition has greatly damaged the reputation of our temple (the charity) and that of Sikh Temples (similar charities) in general.

People respect Sikh temples, as they provide free food to the needy, hungry and homeless in many UK cities, however, because the charity/committee refuses to terminate the employment of an illegal immigrant, who is racist and refuses to serve eligible Non-Sikhs, the reputation of similar charities (Sikh temples across the UK) would have been tarnished, plus its embarrassing for us Sikhs to petition about something, which the charity should have swiftly and easily dealt with internally.

But if we don’t speak up publicly, the charity/committee will continue to ignore us. Having said that, they’ve continued to ignore us over the past 3 months that this issue has been in the public domain, anyway. How reckless of a charity to behave in such ways. Please see the petition’s ‘updates’ section for further information:

https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs

Evidence 4: The illegal immigrant Joginder was reported anonymously to the UK Border Force in January 2016 and again in April 2016, however the UK Border Force have taken no action to date. Joginder’s home address - 123 XXXXXXXXXX Road, Leicester, LEX XXX was also given to them. You can contact the UK Border Force and they will confirm this. As temple members had reported Joginder anonymously, we were not given any reference numbers, but certainly the UK Border Force will have a record of at least 2 calls, that were made this year. If you contact them, please inform them that we have Joginder’s phone numbers and home address in India, if they need evidence of his country of origin, in order to deport him back to India.

Evidence 5: After the online petition was started, the charity/committee members harassed and verbally insulted the temple’s gym members, wrongly accusing them of starting the online petition. Gym members will happily provide statements in writing/verbally, or you can read the petition post, dated 30th April 2016 on the following link:

https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/16415684

This is an unacceptable standard of service provided by the charity and they could have physically harmed the gym members, had discussions escalated on that day, because of the charity’s false accusations against gym members.

Evidence 6: Almost 3 months after the Charity ignored the Special Delivery letter, on 1st July 2016, a temple member video recorded an incident on his mobile phone, involving the racist illegal immigrant Joginder and a sober White woman. Joginder had called the sober White woman a “Dirty Woman”, before telling her that he doesn’t respect her, which made her cry, which was witnessed by many temple members, who can provide statements in writing/verbally to testify this.

The video proved that the Special Delivery letter and online petition are grounded in the truth and in reality, as the racist Joginder fearlessly continues to refuse food to eligible Non-Sikhs, whilst he disrespects them at our temple (on charity premises), which utterly disgusts us Sikhs beyond expression, as it is against our religion to act in such ways, yet the charity continues to employ him, even after that video was filmed and uploaded onto YouTube, where it has now been viewed over 15,000 to date, after 1 month.

Its unacceptable for a charity to ignore the video evidence produced 1 month ago, in addition to the Special Delivery letter and online petition, sent and started, 4 months ago.

By allowing the racist Joginder to cook and serve food AFTER that video entered the public domain, the charity has made a very bold public statement:

“WE SUPPORT RACISM AND DON’T CARE ABOUT SIKH SPIRITUAL TEACHINGS OR ABOUT SIKH TEMPLE MEMBERS WHO COMPLAIN ABOUT IT”.

This is the message that the charity has put out by keeping Joginder in part-time employment after everything that has happened to date, which obviously damages the reputation of our temple and of Sikh temples, in general. The charity isn’t doing what it claims to do, as it is not positively promoting Sikhism. It is defaming Sikhism and ignoring the Sikh community, who fully fund the charity.

The temple members didn’t bother showing the video to the charity management before they uploaded it onto the Internet, as the charity had ignored our letter and online petition to that date. We were right to do this, as the charity still hasn’t removed Joginder even after 1 month of that video being uploaded. The charity is fully responsible for the defamation of our Sikh temple (charity), and for damaging the reputation of Sikh temples (charities) across the UK, because of that video, which couldn’t have been filmed, if the illegal immigrant Joginder had been removed from the kitchen, as requested by us in April 2016 (letter/online petition).

Additionally, by allowing the racist illegal immigrant Joginder to refuse food to eligible Non-Sikhs over a 1.5-year period, the charity has mentally, emotionally and spiritually harmed members of the public, many of whom, are already distressed because of their challenging life circumstances.

As you can see in that video, the poor homeless White woman, who already lives rough on the streets, in an environment that can be hostile sometimes, had to contend with Joginder’s racist behavior on that day, which reduced her to tears and evidently disturbed her, which is mentally, emotionally and spiritually harmful for anyone to deal with, let alone for a hungry homeless person.

We the temple members are sick and tired of seeing disturbing scenes like this over the past 1.5 years, because of the charity’s/committee’s impotence in dealing with racism.

It is equally harmful to Sikh temple members to witness scenes like this, as they hurt our religious sentiments and affect us deeply on a mental, emotional and spiritual level.

Why should we have to stand up for eligible Non-Sikhs and get into confrontations with the racist and illegal immigrant Joginder (who shouldn’t be in this country in the first place), when we’re simply visiting the temple for peace of mind, spiritual growth and for worshipping God? (These poor people should be served with respect, without any intervention).

The charity has harmed countless Non-Sikhs and Sikhs, by ignoring serious complaints about racism. It’s unacceptable for a charity to act in this way, harming thousands of public members, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You can read some of the comments of people who have signed the online petition and you will sense the impact of the charity’s negative and unforgivable actions.

Sikhs and Non-Sikhs are angry at the charity for sponsoring racism, at a Sikh temple, of all places, which is completely against the core teachings and practice of Sikhism. As an example, over 100,000 Sikhs and Non-Sikhs are served free food every day, at a Sikh Shrine in India, without any discrimination.

You can view the video on the following link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piUaULtWYxw&feature=youtu.be

You can read a discussion of the video to understand what happened before and during that video on:
https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/17326484

Evidence 7: 2 days after the video was uploaded, 10-11 committee (charity management committee) and non-committee members harassed the person who recorded the video footage, for almost 1 hour.

A non-committee member tried to physically attack that person (he was restrained by 3 committee members) and another non-committee member made threats to beat him up and slap him.

Why did the charity and Trustees allow non-committee members to sit in that meeting and for them to intimidate and threaten a public member with violence? Is this acceptable behaviour for a charity?

The charity also threatened to ban him from the temple, even though the racist illegal immigrant is the one who should be banned. They victimised the person who recorded the video, simply because he exposed racism at the Sikh temple (on charity premises).

Is this how a charity and it’s trustees should behave? Is this how a charity should respond to serious complaints about racism at a place of worship? Why does the charity endorse racism, by continuing to employ a racist illegal immigrant, who is acting against the key goal of the charity i.e. to positively promote Sikhism?

Joginder’s actions don’t positively promote Sikhism. In contrast, they defame Sikhism. By siding with this racist, the charity management is also acting in anti-Sikh ways and against the core objective of the charity.

The charity management tried to physically harm a member of public on that day, for speaking up against injustice on charity premises. This is unacceptable.

On 20th July 2016, a committee member (charity management) slammed the door on the face of the same person who recorded the video, which just missed him by 30 centimetres or so. Had the door hit him, he would have fallen down a flight of concrete stairs, with his 3.5-year-old daughter, who was in his arms at the time and they’d have likely broken bones, at the very least.

These 2 VERY serious incidents have been reported to the Leicester Police and the incident number is 563/XXXXX. The Charity Commission has the full authority to contact Leicester Police in relation to those incidents, if they require, for evidence purposes. In order to defend the racist illegal immigrant Joginder, the charity has resorted to threats of physical violence. Are we to wait for them to cause serious bodily harm to public members and their children, before something is done about these people, who are clearly unfit to manage the charity organisation?

Here’s a link to a petition article that discusses these incidents in detail:
https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/17368058

Evidence 8: On 15th July 2016, the charity/committee issued a wishy-washy public statement about the video, in a popular Punjabi newspaper, which claims to reach hundreds of thousands of Sikhs in the UK and Europe (80% of this population). A physical copy of their statement in the newspaper can be provided, upon your request for evidence.

A week later on 22nd July 2016, we the temple members rebutted their weak and spineless statement, through a 2-page advert in the same paper titled ‘Des Pardes Weekly’, of which we can also provide a physical copy.

This is now a very serious public issue, which was already being discussed in the public domain, since 23rd April 2016 when the online petition started, but public awareness has drastically increased since our newspaper statement was published last week, which has left the charity red-faced, as we have destroyed their baseless claims.

We, the temple members, have also been approached by the Sikh media, to discuss this issue on various platforms (TV and Radio).

The charity commission should be quick to act, as the charity management may cause physical harm to temple members, because of it’s growing frustration, which stems from their public statement being fully rubbished in the eyes of the public. It was easily rubbished because they are in the wrong and are struggling to justify why they’ve ignored our complaints about racism, for over 1.5-years.

To read our rebuttal of the charity’s/committee’s full statement, please go to:
https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/17290709

To read the article that the temple members published, in the ‘Des Pardes Weekly’, please go to:
https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/17356334

To see actual newspaper articles, as printed by both parties, please contact me. My name is XXXXXXXX and my email is XXXXXXXXXXXXXX I can post these to you.


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