You are aware that the extradition proceedings against S. Ranjit Singh Gill and S. Sukhminder Singh Sandhu started in the court of Federal Magistrate at Newark in New Jersey on February 1, 1988 on the application of Government of India. This case has evoked emotional feelings amongst the Sikhs residing in U.S.A. and Canada. They are very much concerned about the outcome of this case, The Sikhs have no doubt in their minds that if these young men are sent back to India, their lives may be in danger. The Sikhs have generally come forward to offer every type of help to save the lives of these dedicated young men.
This affectionate and sentimental concern could be seen in the presence of large number of Sikhs in the courtroom on the first day of the trial. It was a touching and emotional scene, when S. Sukhminder Singh Gill was brought to the court in chains and tight security.
But there was lot of sorrow and anger as no office bearer or member of Khalistan Council from U.S.A. could make it convenient to be present in the court to provide moral support to these committed young men. To my knowledge Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh was in New Jersey on that day and he could not find ‘any time to encourage these boys, which we all felt was his moral duty as the head of the Khalistan Council. This neglect on his part has created a wave of anger in the Sikh circles.
I wish to take this opportunity to make a humble appeal to the Sikh community to pray and call for the blessings of Guru Granth Sahib for these dedicated, committed innocent young men. Gurcharan S. Dhillon
Please accept our sincere greetings and good wishes for the year of 1988. We hope the New Year will bring continuing success and high spirit to your organization. We are concerned that an attempt is being made to silence our organization. Mr. Allen Hunt, a radio programmer from Fort St. John, has sued Charan Gill, president of BCOFR, for defamation.
During EXPO 86, Mr. Allen Hunt, criticized the B.C. Pavillion display, called May’s Kitchen. A Sikh truck driver was shown having a cup of coffee while a plump. Woman was working in the kitchen. Mr. Hunt said of the display, “it happens to be a Sikh, wearing a turban. There is no doubt he’s a foreigner. That’s the way it hits you. They think this is going to promote our region for tourism?” He made several offensive remarks including the waitress being a fat woman and that visible minority people do not represent the region at all. He demanded the removal of the display.
Charan Gill, president of BCOFR, condemned the criticism of the display as “completely unacceptable racist and sexist comments”, which appeared in Vancouver Sun story on July 16, 1986. BCO FR also complained to CRTC stating the broadcast was racially motivated. As a result Mr. Hunt lost his job. Now he is holding Mr. Gill responsible for his dismissal and is claiming damages.
Our lawyer, Don Crane, has responded to the summons. We believe Mr. Hunt’s case must be vigorously opposed in court, but unfortunately the cost of the trial will be high, especially as it will be heard in Fort St. John. Potentially the cost of this trial would wipe out the financial resources of BEOFR. For this reason we are requesting that your organization consider a generous contribution to keep the struggle going against racism in B.C. Donations can be mailed to BCOFR defense fund or to a trust fund created at Don Crane’s office, #300 111 Water St., Vancouver, Tel.: (604) 6875611. We will very much appreciate your help in this matter.
We thank you for your support now as well as in the past. BCOFR Executive Committee
Please accept my heartiest congratulations for successfully running this newspaper to fourth year. It required a great deal of vigor and dedication with meager resources. It should be the duty of every one of us readers to help increase its circulation and make at least one more subscriber to this newspaper.
I recently received a letter from Congressman Dan Burton for help in his reelection and I was quite moved. In my opinion we should all stand by him because he stood by us at a time, when Sikhs are being persecuted and their rights are being trampled on, In this selfish world, most people are carried away by mighty and powerful and few will stand by oppressed people. Congressman Dan Burton is one of those few.
I do not know if we realize that it is very important to get involved in the political process of this country. We are a minority and we must be politically conscious to protect our rights. If we sleep and do not care then we can’t help but blame ourselves. Make sure you are registered voters and apply for citizenship if you have not applied so far.
I plead to all Sikhs in the U.S. to help Hon. Dan Burton for reelection. He has represented us well, I especially like his speech on the floor of the House, when he said, “We are told in the media that the Sikhs are radicals or extremists. They say they are fighting for liberty and freedom from discrimination”, and then quoting Barry Goldwater he said I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and let me remind you also that moderation in pursuit of Justice is no virtue.
Sikhs are generous people by nature and I am sure they will not disappoint anyone who seek their help, and Hon. Dan Burton has sought their help.
Ajit Singh Clevelan Ohio