|Mr Rayat & Family|
Police Raid Innocent Sikh Family's Home For Firearms
Dal Khalsa UK strongly condemns the outrageous & shocking way in which a Sikh Family - namely the Rayat family were treated during a botched firearms raid on their family home after a false report.
On August 23rd 2017 as the family were on their way to Southall , West London it became apparent that their vehicle had a punctured tyre as a result of this they returned home to call the RAC to sort out the issue.Upon arrival father Mr Sukhi Singh Rayat remained in the vehicle and his mother, son and daughter went indoors while Mr Rayat remained on the phone to the RAC in regards to the tyre puncture.When Mr Rayat left his vehicle he heard someone shout 'stop put your hands in the air ' as he looked up he saw the perimeters of his property surrounded by seven Police vehicles and twenty Police Officers, ten of whom were armed with firearms.
Mr Rayat was then manhandled against a wall , handcuffed and pushed on to a Police vehicle while having firearms pointed at him from all sides - head to toe all while Police dogs were barking and officers shouting instructions to a shocked Mr Rayat. This all happened while the rest of the family were inside who were asked to close the door but were one by one taken out at gun-point in a very aggressive manner.
Once the entire family had vacated the property the Police including the firearms units then proceeded to raid the family home rushing inside in an aggressive manner as if their was a gunman hiding inside even though the family co-operated with the Police at every stage. Within the family home on the top floor there is a special prayer room in which the Sikh Scripture the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji which Sikhs see as a living Guru is kept. As with visiting a Sikh house of worship - the Gurdwara their is a protocol such as removing your shoes and covering your head to go in to the main prayer hall and other areas of the Gurdwara once you enter , the same applies to rooms in which Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is placed.
The family told the Police three times about the room upstairs and how sacred it was due to the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji but requests were ignored and the Police proceeded to raid that room as well with their shoes on.
The entire episode was due to what can only be called a malicious call made to Police of a 'popping' sound and men with firearms in the front seat of a car. The individual who made the call changed their story three times ranging from seeing a gun to gun gestures and then a popping sound. Clearly Herts Police have failed in their intelligence assessment of the incident and should have handled this in a more professional manner ,instead of working out what was going on and speaking to the so called witness again it seems they went in on the basis of a dodgy call , with the intent to raid the family home.
Everyone can understand that a call made to Police about someone having a firearm is a serious allegation and the Police have to and should proceed in the manner necessary but going in on the basis of such a flimsy call without any background intelligence is sheer incompetence. Even if the Police had to come they could of handled the matter better instead bringing dogs ,pointing guns at a well respected family and taking them out on to the street at gunpoint in front of the whole neighbourhood to see over a false allegation. To add insult to injury they then went and raided the entire house including the sacred room upstairs in which Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was present ,this was not only an insult to the families beliefs but to Sikhs across the UK and the World as the Police ignored the requests of the family in regards to the room. It was clear from the offset that the family were innocent and the Police should have used more common sense and calmed down with their aggressive tactics ,the shock and sheer panic on the faces of members of the family which included Mr Rayat's elderly mother , would have given away that there was no firearm and they should have proceeded more calmly instead of aggressively raiding the entire house.
It's clear Herts Police have zero training on how to enter sacred rooms and even Gurdwaras as they ignored the requests of the family to take off their shoes when entering the room upstairs. They could have easily taken a member of the family with them even with a Police firearm, removed their shoes completed their checks and come back down but they didn't and this is what is insulting to the family as well as the UK wide Sikh Community. We call on Herts Police and other forces to adequately train their officers for such things as to build bridges not break down relations and create distrust and fear in communities across the board.
The individual who made the malicious call and changed their story three times should also be held to account and dealt with by the Police for wasting Police time and resources. Vital resources which are needed at a time where those being monitored by intelligence and security agencies are planning Jihadist attacks on UK soil ,those are the homes that should be raided aggressively not the homes of innocent families who have nothing to hide.
The family are deeply hurt and scared by this incident which has left them all shaken and angry due to the way in which the Police conducted themselves and as the family feel, we also believe the entire behaviour of the officers could be due to racial profiling as well as a lack of diversity training. The Chief Constable of North Herts Police has apologised to the family but this is not enough therefore we call on the Police and Crime Commissioner of Hertfordshire Police to look in to this distressing episode on a personal note and take the appropriate action and implement any changes in policy - such as diversity training that may be required,we also call on local MP Bim Afolami to look in to this matter.
Dal Khalsa UK