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Khalistan supporter jailed for 28 months for stabbing three people with kirpan during I-Day celebrations in Southall

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LONDON: A Khalistan supporter has been jailed for 28 months after stabbing two Indian-origin men and a female police officer with his kirpan at Indian Independence Day celebrations in Southall last year.
Gurpreet Singh (26), an Indian citizen, was carrying three kirpans and used one with a 20cm blade to stab his victims. He was ordered on Wednesday to forfeit all three kirpans to the court.Whilst the kirpan is lawful to carry, judge Kwame Inyundo said it was not lawful to use as a weapon of offence. “The use of a kirpan, which is a dagger, in these circumstances is a highly dangerous weapon,” he said at Isleworth crown court.

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“This was an impulsive reaction to the presence of Indian flags… It was premeditated with hostile intent to provoke public disorder,” he said, adding Gurpreet was “motivated by hostility on the presumed characteristics of his victims, including their religion”.

The offences were committedshortly after 10pm on August 15 in Southall Broadway when a large group of Indian-origin adults and children were celebrating Independence Day waving the tricolour. Three men, including Gurpreet, holding Khalistan flags, faced off against them in a confrontational manner. One of theKhalistan supporters grabbed an Indian flag and made off with it and then Gurpreet stabbed Nanak Singh in the back and shoulder and Ashish Sharma in the chest.

Gurpreet also swung his knife wildly at PC Justine Farrell, when she tried to intervene, slashing her finger, the court was told.

Gurpreet pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding of Sharma and Singh, assault occasioning actual bodily harm of PC Farrell, and affray. The other offences lie on file.

He arrived in UK in 2020 as a student, dropped out of his studies in 2021 and applied for asylum, the court heard, and he could be deported to India at the end of his sentence.

Lauren Bates-Brownsword, prosecuting, said: “Sikhs are permitted to carry kirpans for religious reasons but his use of it for violence risks undermining that dispensation in law.”

Philip Romans,mitigating, said: “It was Indian Independence day and he has expressed his views about the need for a Sikh separatist state within India. I don’t think he brought the kirpan to use it as a dangerous weapon. He just reacted. He has apologised to the victims.”

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