In the wake of posting a video on the Khalistan movement on social media, Harman Singh Kapoor, a Sikh restaurant owner from London, has been facing death threats. His restaurant was attacked by pro-Khalistan supporters, an incident that occurred just days after the Indian High Commission in London was vandalised.
Harman’s video, which garnered two million views in two days, led to abusive calls, social media trolling, and threats against him and his family. Harman claimed that the threats began after he posted a video on TikTok, in which he said “This Khalistan movement started a while back and then it died down. Today again, a section of people who are settled in Canada, in England and Australia want Khalistan but those in India don’t want it.”
Following the video, Harman alleged that he received death threats and his restaurant was attacked. The attackers demanded that he remove the video, raise pro-Khalistan slogans, and burn the Indian flag, or face death.
Harman said his wife and his daughter even received several rape threats. “Our address was put online with calls to rape and kill them. Videos of miscreants licking the pictures of my wife and daughter were posted as well,” he added.
An independent report, Bloom Review, released on April 26, documented similar cases of individuals being intimidated and threatened by aggressive Sikh activists. According to the report, politicians, public figures, academicians, and officials have been harassed and threatened by pro-Khalistan supporters.
Despite the police’s assurance of safety and special safeguarding measures, Harman and his family have continued to receive online threats. They have experienced three attacks, and the family does not feel safe, as the attackers remain at large.
Harman’s case raises questions about the effectiveness of law enforcement in addressing such threats and protecting citizens. The Bloom Review report recommended that the government uphold the right to hold beliefs and freedom of expression but impede the advance of subversive groups attempting to fracture majority Sikh communities and negatively impact societal stability.
As of now, no one has been charged in connection with Harman’s harassment or the vandalism of the Indian High Commission, and concerns about safety in the presence of law enforcement personnel remain. The Bloom Review report warned that without stern action, the situation could worsen, ultimately becoming a problem for the UK rather than India.