Report seeks action against Pak gangs targeting UK Sikh girls
London, December 3
British Sikh girls being targeted by Pakistani-origin grooming gangs for sexual abuse and exploitation over the years have not received full attention of the authorities due to political correctness, claims a report released on Monday.
The ‘Religiously Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of Young Sikh Women Across the UK’ report, collated by the Sikh Mediation And Rehabilitation Team (SMART) and Sikh Youth UK, received the backing of parliamentarians as it called for an investigation into the pattern of abuse dating back decades.
“Since the early 1980s, evidence collated by British Sikh organisations has recorded cases of sexual abuse and exploitation against young Sikh females by grooming gangs populated by perpetrators of primarily Pakistani or Muslim heritage,” the report noted.
“Although not exclusively, offences are documented as regularly being committed within the structure of networks, including the nuclear and extended family members of offenders. This has, in turn, prompted questions surrounding whether young Sikh females are victims of opportunists or being targeted due to their religious heritage,” it said.
The researchers are keen to highlight that the study was not undertaken as a “witch-hunt against any individual, community, culture or faith” but as a means to provide some “clear understanding and acceptance” of key factors contributing to the risk. Among the factors influencing the trend, the report flagged that some early Sikh migrants claim the organised targeting of Sikh females was conducted, in part, as “retaliation” for the involvement of Sikh soldiers in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.