Lincoln Tan

Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.

India drops terrorism charges against top Kiwi Sikh

Manpreet Singh has been strongly defended by colleagues. Photo / APN
Manpreet Singh has been strongly defended by colleagues. Photo / APN

A New Zealand Sikh community leader facing terrorism charges in India has been released.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said yesterday that it had been informed the case against Manpreet Singh had been dismissed.

"Our high commission is seeking confirmation of this advice from the court," ministry spokesman Adham Crichton said last night.

Mr Singh, a former president of the New Zealand Sikh Society and a justice of the peace, was arrested on his arrival at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport in March and faced multiple charges including attempted murder, involvement in seditious activities and masterminding a jailbreak.

The chairman of the Supreme Sikh Council of New Zealand, Daljit Singh, said the decision was a "big relief for both the family and the Sikh community".

"We are very pleased by the court decision, but at the same time it came as no surprise," Daljit Singh said.

"Manpreet is a humble and good man, and his arrest had all along been a mistake."

Daljit Singh, who is also the family spokesman, said the children were "extremely delighted" by the decision and eager to see their father again.

Manpreet Singh was a taxi driver in Auckland, but left New Zealand in 2011 with his family to live in Australia.

Daljit Singh said Manpreet Singh would spend a few days in India, visiting the Golden Temple and other Sikh temples to give thanks, before returning home.

- NZ Herald

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