Petition update

Serious Complaint letter sent to a Leicestershire Town Council

Guru Nanak Gurudwara (Leics) Sangat

Aug 14, 2016 — A senior member of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Leicester) management committee is a Local Councillor for two wards in Leicestershire.

We have sent the following letter to the relevant Town Council, requesting that his position as a Local Councillor is terminated, for his gross negligence in handling racism and anti-Sikh behaviour at the Gurdwara, over the past 1.5-year period, as can be evidenced.


“RE: Serious complaint about Cllr XXXXX

Dear Mr. XXXXX,

I am a registered member of the Guru Nanak Gurdwara, 9 Holy Bones, Leicester, LE1 5LJ, which is a Sikh temple located near Leicester city center. Cllr XXXXX (Mr. XXXXX) is the XXXXX of the management committee at our Sikh temple.

Yesterday, I was horrified to learn that Mr. XXXXX is a XXXXX Town Councillor for the XXXXX & XXXXX Ward (He is a member of the ‘XXXXX Committee’, as stated on your website).

I couldn’t believe that such an irresponsible and negligent person could hold such a responsible position, as a Town Councillor. Please allow me to explain.

Since 23rd April 2016, we the Sikh congregation at our Sikh temple, have been engaged in an ongoing public battle with our temple XXXXX Mr. XXXXX and the temple’s management committee.

In fact, given Mr. XXXXX’s gross negligence in handling racism and anti-Sikh behavior on temple premises, we were forced to start an online petition on the Change.org website.

To view our online petition, please search Change.org for:
‘Ban racist Singh from Guru Nanak Temple (Leics) for refusing food to Non-Sikhs’, or go to:
https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs

This is a complex situation, of which ‘XXXXX Town Council’ must be fully aware, as the ‘Leicester Mercury’ and the widely read Panjabi newspapers such as ‘Des Pardes Weekly’ and ‘Panjab Times’, which have a combined readership of over 500,000 Panjabi readers, have already published material on this matter, in which Mr. XXXXX is the key culprit along with the racist illegal immigrant Joginder Singh and the useless management committee.

The situation in a nutshell:

About our Sikh temple
As the ‘Guru Nanak Gurdwara’ is located near Leicester city center, we see many Non-Sikh (White, Black, Muslim & Hindu) visitors, some of whom are needy and homeless. They are welcome to have Langar (free food) provided:
(a) They are not drunk or intoxicated.
(b) They are modestly dressed.
(c) They cover their heads.
(d) They take their shoes off.
(e) They’re not anti-social.
(f) They respect the Sikh faith and other temple visitors.

The Problem
For the past 5-6 years, Mr. XXXXX and the management committee have employed an illegal immigrant named Joginder Singh, who works part-time as a cook, between 4pm and 9pm, 7 days a week. As part of his duties, he is responsible for cooking and serving food to all eligible temple visitors (who meet criteria a-f above), including Non-Sikhs. However, over the past 1.5-years or so, we have increasingly observed that Joginder has been refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs, without reason.

Joginder has snatched plates out of the hands of eligible Non-Sikhs and told them to go away. He has given Non-Sikhs one chapatti, when it’s the norm to give two. Last year, he initiated an argument with a Polish man, who used to voluntarily empty all the kitchen bins, in the mornings and evenings, before he’d have food.

Joginder partnered with a non-management temple member, took this Polish man into the temple’s office and told him that he’s permanently banned, despite them not having the authority to do this. The Polish man cried, “I’m sorry, please don’t ban me”, but Joginder declared that he’s banned, which the Polish man believed and never returned again.

Early in 2016, temple members and a management member witnessed a Hindu woman crying because Joginder had refused to serve her, having rudely said that “This isn’t a restaurant”, yet Joginder was still allowed to cook and serve food after that very serious incident, without being disciplined, or more appropriately, banned from the temple.

We were truly disgusted by Joginder’s racist and anti-Sikh behavior on that day and had made a formal complaint to the management, but they ignored us. There are too many incidents of racial discrimination to narrate here.

Timeline of Events
-(2015-2016): We made verbal complaints about Joginder refusing to serve eligible Non-Sikhs, over a 1-year period, but Mr. XXXXX and the management ignored us.

-January 2016: We became aware of the fact that Joginder is likely an illegal immigrant, so we reported him to the UK Border Force, but no action has been taken against Joginder or Mr. XXXXX and the management, to date.

-4th April 2016: We sent a Special Delivery letter [Royal Mail Tracking Number AE854146080GB] addressed to Mr. XXXXX and the management, in which key incidents of racial discrimination were mentioned. We gave them over two weeks to permanently ban Joginder from our temple, for his racist and anti-Sikh behavior, but they ignored us again.

-23rd April 2016: We started an online petition on the Change.org website, which Mr. XXXXX and the management have ignored to date, even though we have over 370 supporters.

-29th April 2016: The management harassed the temple’s gym members, falsely accusing them of starting the online petition.

-1st July 2016: I happened to film an incident that supports our petition, as Joginder was caught mistreating a sober White homeless woman, by calling her a “dirty woman” before telling her that he doesn’t respect her, in front of temple members, just before the video was made.

As we were sick and tired of complaining to the careless Mr. XXXXX and the useless management, we simply uploaded the video onto YouTube to show the world the kind of disturbing scenes that we’ve had to witness, over the past 1.5-years, because of Mr. XXXXX’s and the management’s gross negligence in handling our very serious complaints about Joginder’s racist and anti-Sikh behavior at our temple.

To see the video, please search YouTube for:
‘Racist ‘Joginder Singh’ refuses food to White Homeless woman at Sikh Temple’, or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piUaULtWYxw&feature=youtu.be

As some of the communication is in Panjabi, to understand what happened during that video, please scroll down the online petition page and see our update titled ‘What happened on 1st July 2016, when the video was made?’ or 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/17461412

-3rd July 2016: Mr. XXXXX and 9-10 management and non-management members harassed me because I recorded the video that exposes racism and anti-Sikh behavior at our temple.

Mr. XXXXX verbally trashed me and he allowed two non-management members to threaten me with physical violence. One of them tried to physically attack me, whilst another made threats to beat me up and slap me. Mr. XXXXX and the management also threatened to ban me from the temple. This incident has been reported to the Leicester Police and I give you full permission to discuss the incident details if required, by way of this email/letter. The incident number is XXX/XXXXXX.

-15th July 2016: After the video had been viewed over 10,000 times on YouTube, the management issued a wishy-washy and mostly irrelevant statement in the widely read Panjabi newspaper called ‘Des Pardes Weekly’ and on their Facebook page, which we have rubbished. To read the rebuttal, please see the ‘Updates’ section of our online petition, or 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

-20th July 2016: A management member slammed the main entrance door on my face, which just missed me by 30 centimetres or so. Had the door hit me, I would have fallen down a flight of concrete stairs, with my 3.5-year-old daughter, who was in my arms at the time and we would likely have had broken bones. This incident has also been reported to the Leicester Police, on the same number provided above.

-22nd July 2016: Leicester Police visited the temple and met with the management about the above-mentioned serious incidents.

-31st July 2016: My family and I stopped attending the temple because we anticipated further victimization, after Mr. XXXXX and the management would learn about the serious complaints submitted to the Charity Commission, which we have fully evidenced.

-1st August 2016: Our Sikh temple is a registered charity (No. 254837). The congregation submitted a detailed complaint to the Charity Commission via email, on the basis of the charity harming people, being involved in illegal activity and not doing what it claims to do. Extracts of this complaint can be viewed in the ‘Updates’ section of our online petition page

-6th August 2016: The Sikh congregation issued a statement in the widely read ‘Leicester Mercury’ newspaper, which sold circa 32,700 copies on that day.

Please see the physical newspaper copy attached to the letter and/or please click on the following link to read the content that was published, as that will give you a good insight into the situation concerning Mr. XXXXX and the management:
https://www.change.org/p/leicester-sikhs-ban-racist-joginder-singh-from-guru-nanak-temple-leics-for-refusing-langar-to-non-sikhs/u/17504183

Today is the 14th August 2016.

Mr. XXXXX and the management have:

1. Ignored the Special Delivery letter sent to them on 4th April 2016, in which we asked them to ban the racist Joginder from the temple kitchen, OVER 4 MONTHS AGO.
2. Ignored our online petition started on 23rd April 2016, which started ALMOST 4 MONTHS AGO.
3. Ignored the video in which a sober White woman was reduced to tears because of the racist Joginder, which was uploaded onto YouTube on 2nd July 2016, OVER 1 MONTH AGO.
4. Ignored the congregations’ requests to ban the racist Joginder, through statements published in two major Panjabi newspapers and the Leicester Mercury, OVER THE LAST MONTH.

By ignoring the congregations’ requests OVER A 1.5-YEAR PERIOD, the XXXXX Mr. XXXXX and the management have supported a racist who has acted in anti-Sikh ways at our Sikh temple.

How can the irresponsible and careless Mr. XXXXX be allowed to be a part of the XXXXX Local Council’s ‘XXXXX Committee’, when he indirectly endorses racism at our temple, by supporting the racist illegal immigrant Joginder Singh, whilst ignoring over 370 petition supporters, most of whom are Sikhs?

Employing an illegal immigrant in the UK is unlawful and the UK Border Force is now investigating our complaints. Mr. XXXXX and the management knowingly employed an illegal immigrant, regarding which we have collected evidence that has been presented to the Charity Commission and to the UK Border Force. How can the law-breaker Mr. XXXXX be allowed to retain his position as a Local Councillor?

Mr. XXXXX has ignored serious complaints about racism over a prolonged period of time on our temple premises, meaning that he has allowed many eligible White, Black and Hindu temple visitors to be wrongly denied food and to be disrespected by the racist Joginder. How can he be expected to fairly serve the White, Black and Hindu residents of the XXXXX and XXXXX ward, of which he is a Local Councillor?

Mr. XXXXX is a hypocrite. On one hand he organized the distribution of over 5000 samosas to Leicester city fans on the day of their final match in May 2016, in celebration of their incredible victory, YET, he has viewed and completely ignored that video of a sober homeless White woman, who audibly cries that she feels unwelcome at our Sikh temple, because of the racist Joginder and his disrespectful behavior. How could he ignore the video footage of such a serious incident that supports the basis of the online petition started months earlier?

The UK Sikh community is disgusted by that video footage, why isn’t Cllr XXXXX? If he were disgusted, he would certainly have removed the racist Joginder from his position as a temple cook between 2nd July 2016 and today 14th August 2016, WHICH HE STILL HASN’T DONE.

Mr. XXXXX is not fit to be a Local Councillor or a Sikh temple XXXXX, as he has ruined the reputation of our Sikh temple and the good name of Sikhs in general, by sanctioning racism and anti-Sikh behavior on temple premises, whilst ignoring numerous complaints made by the Sikh community over a 1.5-year period.

In terms of evidence, you can easily see that:
1. The Special Delivery letter [Royal Mail Tracking Number AE854146080GB] complaining about Joginder’s racial discrimination was delivered to the Sikh temple on 5th April 2016.

Please ask Mr. XXXXX:

Why did you ignore the letter from Sikh temple members, requesting that Joginder is removed for racially discriminating against Non-Sikhs over a 1+ year period at the time? What was the justification for ignoring the temple members’ serious complaints? Is racism a non-serious issue or trivial matter in your opinion? If not, why indirectly facilitate it?

If you irresponsibly ignore the members of your own Sikh community, how can you be expected to listen to the residents of the XXXXX and XXXXX ward, most of whom are people of different communities/backgrounds?

If you don’t care about the well being of White, Black and Hindu temple-goers, why would you care about the White, Black and Hindu residents of the XXXXX and XXXXX ward?

What will the White, Black and Hindu residents of your ward think of XXXXX Town Council if we allow you to retain your highly accountable position as a Local Councillor?

How can White, Black and Hindu residents of your ward trust that you won’t racially discriminate against them, after it has been made public via the widely-read ‘Leicester Mercury’ and other publications that the Sikh temple of which you are the XXXXX, has facilitated racist behavior over the past 1.5-years, by continuously ignoring temple members?

How can XXXXX Town Council justify keeping a Local Councillor who does nothing about stopping racist behavior over a 1.5-year period, when he had the full power to remove the racist from abusing his position as a temple cook, but he chose not to, by doing which he and the committee indirectly endorsed racist behavior?

2. The online petition on Change.org was started on 23rd April 2016.

Please ask Mr. XXXXX:

By ignoring the Special Delivery complaint from the Sikh community, why did you force them to start an online petition?

Surely, you’d have realized that it would damage the reputation of the Sikh temple of which you are the XXXXX (key decision-maker) - why didn’t that matter to you? If you didn’t have that foresight, how can XXXXX Town Council expect you to make important decisions, without being capable of reasonably assessing positive/negative outcomes of key decisions?

What was the specific reason for ignoring the online petition? Surely you would have had a meeting with the management committee, what was the outcome?

Why did the Sikh community need to start an online petition? Shouldn’t you have dealt with this serious matter internally and swiftly to prevent things from escalating into the public domain? Why didn’t it occur to you that you are a local public figure as a Local Councillor?

If you don’t listen to the members of your religious community, how can you be expected to listen to members of your local community, many of whom are Non-Sikhs (White, Black and Hindu), people from the same communities that have been insulted and wrongly denied food, at the temple of which you are the XXXXX?

If you can be so reckless about damaging the public reputation of the Sikh community and your Sikh temple, how can XXXXX Town Council allow you to retain your position as a Local Councillor? By allowing you to retain your position as a Local Councillor, how would the general public perceive XXXXX Town Council, after considering the collective impact of the online petition and media publications?


3. The video that shows a completely sober homeless White woman crying about being insulted by Joginder was uploaded onto YouTube on 2nd July 2016.

Please ask Mr. XXXXX:

Over 16,000 people have viewed that video to date, which supports the Sikh temple members’ letter and online petition sent and started months earlier, in April 2016.

How could you ignore the video footage that has been shared with 16,000 members of public and continue to support the racist Joginder?

What was the reason for ignoring the video? Again, you must have had a meeting with the management, what was the outcome? What is the justification for supporting Joginder?

What will White, Black and Hindu residents of your ward think about you, their Local Councillor and the XXXXX of the Sikh temple, where that video was filmed, who has allowed over 44 days to lapse without taking appropriate action against the man who made a sober homeless White woman cry, by calling her a “dirty woman” and then by telling her that he doesn’t respect her?

The Leicester Police have been informed that you and 9-10 people harassed and threatened a temple member for exposing racism at your temple, by filming that video, about which they came to speak to the management on 22nd July 2016.

How could someone who harasses and victimizes a temple member and allows his management to do so, be allowed to retain his position as a Local Councillor? Is it acceptable for a Local Councillor to facilitate the harassment and victimization of someone who stands up against racism?

4. The 3-page ‘Leicester Mercury’ statement was published on 6th August 2016.

You are a Local Councillor and many residents in your ward know that you are the XXXXX of the Sikh temple, concerning which the Sikh congregation issued a 3-page statement on 6th August 2016 in the widely read Leicester Mercury.

Why haven’t you responded to that statement in the Leicester Mercury to clear your name and to refute the congregations’ claims, if you can genuinely justify ignoring their serious complaints about racism over the past 1.5-years?

Moreover, how can the XXXXX Town Council justify keeping you as a Local Councillor, after all the negative press received by the Sikh temple of which you are the XXXXX, leader and main decision-maker?

Over 500,000 UK residents (Panjabi Sikhs) and over 32,700 Leicester residents have become aware of racism at your Sikh temple, over a 1.5-year period. How can we allow the public reputation of XXXXX Town Council to be tarnished by keeping you as a Local Councillor?

The above are just some of the questions that should be put forward to Mr. XXXXX, if he attempts to defend his shameless and defenseless actions.

Our next course of action:

I state everything as a matter of fact, not in any threatening way, so please do not take it like that. Everything will be carried out peacefully and within the confines of the law.

If the XXXXX Town Council does not terminate his position, as a Local Councillor, or if Mr. XXXXX doesn’t resign from the same position by Tuesday 23rd August 2016, we will be forced to take the following 2 steps, after which we will plan accordingly.

Either his name as a Local Councillor needs to be removed from your website by that date, or you can send me an email to confirm his resignation and/or termination of his position as a Local Councillor.

1. We will distribute leaflets to all houses specifically in the XXXXX and XXXXX wards, which detail the content of this letter and our online petition.

The leaflets will evidence the fact that Mr. XXXXX has ignored serious complaints about racism at our Sikh temple, at which he is the XXXXX of the management committee. Key evidences include: the Special Delivery letter sent on 4th April 2016, the online petition started on 23rd April 2016 and the video uploaded onto YouTube on 2nd July 2016.

We will confirm the fact that we the congregation can evidence that Mr. XXXXX and the management have broken the law by employing an illegal immigrant over the past 5-6 years and that this person has been refusing food to eligible Non-Sikhs over the past 1.5-years, which is a practice that is against our religion, because of which we made many complaints to Mr. XXXXX and the management.

We will prove that Mr. XXXXX has ignored our complaints about racism and anti-Sikh behavior over the past 1.5-years, by doing which he has supported this racist illegal immigrant, who has denied food to and has disrespected many needy, hungry and homeless White, Black and Hindu temple-goers.

We will also state that we had written to XXXXX Town Council on 15th August 2016, requesting that his position as a Local Councillor is terminated or that he resigns by 23rd August 2016, for his gross negligence in handling racism and anti-Sikh behavior at our temple. We will express that the ‘Councillors Code of Conduct’ requires Local Councillors to act with:

a. Selflessness
b. Integrity
c. Objectivity
d. Accountability
e. Openness
f. Honesty
g. Leadership
h. Respect for others
i. A commitment to uphold the law.

If Mr. XXXXX has not acted in line with these principles as the XXXXX of our Sikh temple, over a prolonged 1.5-year period, how can he be expected to adhere to these principles, values and qualities as a Local Councillor?

The council can’t say, “What Mr. XXXXX does as the XXXXX of a Sikh temple is none of our business, as these principles should only underpin Mr. XXXXX’s conduct as a Local Councillor”, as that would be akin to stating “A Local Councillor can break UK laws, indirectly endorse racism and harass members of the public, provided he doesn’t do it whilst on duty as a Local Councillor”.

That would be an absurd position for the council to adopt, as the hundreds of eligible Non-Sikhs who have been denied free food and/or have been subjected to racial abuse, are residents of Leicester, hence the council should be accountable for whom it allows to hold the position of a Local Councillor.

XXXXX Town Council may not be able to help us in stopping racism at our Sikh temple, but it can terminate Mr. XXXXX’s position as a Local Councillor, as White, Black and Hindu residents of the XXXXX and XXXXX ward would be disgusted to know that he has ignored serious complaints about racism over a 1.5-year period, by doing which he has sanctioned racism on temple premises.

Most Non-Sikhs who’ve seen the video have been appalled by the fact that Joginder is still working at the temple, even after 1.5 months of it being uploaded.


2. The leaflet will ask all residents (especially Sikh, White, Black and Hindu residents) to join us for the purpose of peacefully protesting outside the XXXXX XXXXX Centre, demanding that Cllr XXXXX’s position as a Local Councillor is terminated.

We will invite the local press and Panjabi press to attend the protest and we will evidence our claims and explain why Mr. XXXXX is not qualified to be a Local Councillor, given his gross negligence in handling racism at our temple, over a 1.5-year period.

Racism is against our religion. Mr. XXXXX has acted in anti-Sikh ways, by indirectly supporting racism at our temple, through ignoring our requests to remove the racist illegal immigrant from his position as a temple cook.

The Charity Commission will deal with Mr. XXXXX and the management accordingly. However, we strongly feel that an irresponsible and negligent man like Mr. XXXXX has no right to be a Local Councillor, as he doesn’t possess the characteristics and fine qualities to serve the local community. He hasn’t served us, his own community, how will he serve his local community?

If I had known that Mr. XXXXX is a Local Councillor back in April 2016, when we started the online petition, I’d have written to you back then.

Please take this letter seriously and forward it to the relevant person and/or key decision-maker.

As our online petition is public, an edited copy of this letter will be displayed in the ‘Updates’ section, so that supporters and new signees can see that we have written to you about this serious issue, which has a 7-day deadline for action, which is a reasonable timeframe.


Yours truly


XXXXX
(On the behalf of the Sikh Congregation at Guru Nanak Gurdwara, Leicester)”


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