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Group of Sikhs protest outside UN headquarters on Republic Day

New York: As India marked the 68th Republic Day, several Sikhs held protests outside the UN headquarters here against the Indian Constitution, raising pro-Khalistan slogans and demanding the world body’s intervention to protect the community.

The Sikhs held a “liberation rally” yesterday alleging the Indian Constitution denies religious freedom to the Sikh community. Carrying placards that read ‘Wake up UN’ and ‘Sikh Referendum 2020’, they shouted slogans demanding “freedom” for Punjab.

The protesters also demanded a UN intervention to protect Sikhs and raised slogans in favour of an independent Sikh state of Khalistan.

Rights group Sikhs for Justice sent a communique to Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief urging him to condemn provisions of the Indian Constitution, which they claimed violate religious freedom and identity of Sikhs by labeling them as ‘Hindus’.

SFJ legal advisor said the group will lobby with the UN for bringing a resolution in the General Assembly on the issue of Sikh’s religious freedom in India.

The rally was organised by the Gurudwara Sikh Cultural Society of Richmond Hill with the support of management committees of Gurudwaras in the tri-state area.