London, October 11
A British Sikh man has been handed a 10,000 pound fine for breach of the COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings following a "Kisaan Rally” organised in west London “in solidarity” with farmers in Punjab.
Deepa Singh, of Sikh Activists UK, was seen on social media soon after being handed the fixed penalty notice by police on October 4.
“The fine was for arranging a gathering under COVID restrictions. We are standing in solidarity with our farmers in Punjab,” Singh said.
The group, however, went on to thank its many supporters who turned out in large numbers for the rally.
“Thousands attended and Southall was gridlocked, we cannot thank you all enough for taking that time out to make an effort to attend,” said Sikh Activists UK.
“Everyone who attended stood shoulder to shoulder with our families in Punjab, it is at times like this we unite and structure ourselves on political issues to help educate the sangata (community),” they said.
Southall in west London is home to the UK capital's largest Sikh population and witnessed a gathering of cars, trucks and motorbikes during the rally on October 4 to protest against India's new agricultural laws.
The Metropolitan Police officers were on patrol to try and control crowds as protests fall within the purview of the coronavirus laws, brought in to control the spread of infections in all parts of the UK.
“A man has been reported for consideration of a 10,000 pound fixed penalty notice for breaching the Health Protection Relations 2020 in relation to a protest that took place in Southall on October 4,” a Met Police statement said.
“Protests are not exempt under coronavirus legislation. Organisers must carry out a full risk assessment and take all steps to limit the transmission of the virus; they must make sure this is adhered to,” the statement said.
Similar fines have been handed out to organisers of anti-lockdown protests in London in the past few weeks and months. PTI
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