19 March 2010

Dumped’ Sikh boy to return to Punjab

We have been following the strange saga of Gurinder Singh since March of 2008, nearly two years. The two most recent posts are here, in case you'd like to review the case.  Or click on "Gurinder Singh" in the labels in the sidebar. 

I look forward to reading about this chapter in his life when he writes his autobiography.  How could these events possibly affect a young boy of his age?  He has kept kesh which says something.  

'Dumped' Sikh boy to return to Punjab

Young Sikh boy who was found in Southall, abandoned by his parents two years ago, finally has permission to go back to the Punjab to stay with his uncle.
Gurinderjit Singh who is now twelve-years-old has been given temporary travel documents by the Home
He still has his long hair and has maintained his Sikh identity even under the care of foster parents.
This story that shook the Sikh community in Britain and resulted in many childless couples claiming he was there son now has some consolidation for the young boy dumped by his parents.
It is believed that his parents are both illegal immigrants in Europe.
In an interview last year the paternal grandmother claimed her daughter has sought a better life for her son and sent him to Britain. The grandparents wanted Gurinder to come and live with them, as his elder sister has been left in their care by the parents. But Gurinder will stay with his paternal uncle, Kuldip Singh, a farmer in Punjab state.
Both parents have never come forward. 
The decision to allow him to return to India is the culmination of a protracted legal battle.
The London Borough of Ealing took the unprecedented step of petitioning the Punjab and Haryana high court in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh over the issue.
On Wednesday, the ministry of external affairs finally granted Gurinderjit an emergency certificate for travel.
'Constitutional violation'
Lawyer Anil Malhotra, who represented Ealing in the court, told the BBC that "winning Gurrinderjit's right to come back to his home in India has been a major challenge".

The young Sikh boy has been living in foster care in the UK, the boy had been denied travel documents because neither of his parents was available to support his application at India's high commission in London.

According to Mr Malhotra, "his father Mohinder Singh is living in Italy and mother Deepinder Kaur was reported to be in the UK but had abandoned the boy and not responded thereafter". The BBC reported
Following the petition filed by Ealing in November, the high court agreed that to deny Gurrinderjit a passport could be construed as a violation of the Indian constitution which guarantees every citizen the right to life and liberty.
A BBC correspondent in Punjab says that while the judicial intervention seems to have nudged the Indian authorities into issuing the travel documents, they have agreed to do so only on the condition that the London Borough of Ealing would be responsible "to take the child safely and hand him over to the identified paternal or maternal guardian in India".
Gurrinderjit is now expected to fly back under the care of a British social worker on his 12th birthday on 21 April.