A group of Sikhs staged protests against alleged atrocities perpetrated against minority communities in India during the commemoration of Babasaheb Ambedkar's 127th birth anniversary at the United Nations Headquarters.
India's Permanent Mission to the UN organized a special event titled "Leaving No One Behind" on Friday to celebrate the Dalit icon's birth anniversary.
UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner delivered the keynote address.
As India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, began his opening remarks at the event, a group of Sikhs stood up in the conference room and held up posters that read "Minorities Under Threat" and "Never Forget 84" alongside pictures of Ayodhya's Babri Masjid and the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Akbaruddin remained unperturbed by the protest and continued to deliver his speech.
The Sikhs, about 15 members, tied black bands on their turbans and stood silently during Akbaruddin's speech, holding up posters for attendees to see.
The group left the conference room after Akbaruddin concluded his remarks.
Outside the room, UN police and security personnel assembled and questioned them, inspecting their posters and inquired about whether they had permission and valid passes to enter the UN.
The Sikhs, belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar USA and Youth Akali Dal Amritsar USA, told the UN security personnel that they were protesting silently and peacefully.
One of the protesters, Sabjeet Singh of the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar USA said Ambedkar's vision was to ensure equality for all communities, minorities, and Dalits and he had enshrined this in the Indian Constitution.
Singh said India's BJP-led government wants to build a Hindu nation. "They (BJP, government) are committing atrocities against Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, Dalits. We are here to peacefully convey the message on behalf of all the minority communities...that Ambedkar's vision of equality remains unfulfilled," he said.
Love World news?
Subscribe to stay updated.