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Monday, 31 July, 2000, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Sikh 'terrorists' remain in UK
jack straw
Jack Straw said the men were a danger to UK security
Two Sikh militants will not be deported to India despite being branded international terrorists and a threat to UK security.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission upheld the men's appeal against Home Secretary Jack Straw's deportation order, saying this would contravene Article three of the European Convention on Human rights.

There are serious reasons for considering that the appellants have been guilty of inciting terrorist acts

Home Office
It ruled that Mukhtar Singh, 27, and Paramjit Singh, 26, faced a "real threat" of being tortured for their beliefs if they were returned.

The men were released from detention on unconditional bail and can be given permission to remain in exceptional circumstances.

The Home Office is understood to be considering whether to appeal. A spokesman said it was considering the commission's judgement carefully.

Sikh insurgency

The deportation order was made "in the interests of national security".

It was alleged the two men were reviving Sikh insurgency in Punjab to establish a Sikh homeland there.

UK citizens might reasonably feel disquiet about a state of affairs which permits international terrorists to remain here

Mr Justice Potts
The Home Office said the secretary of state concluded that "by reason of what is known about the appellants' activity in India, there are serious reasons for considering that the appellants have been guilty of knowingly financing, planning and inciting terrorist acts".

The commission, headed by Mr Justice Potts, added that the "state of affairs follows upon Article Three of the European Convention, the secretary of state's acceptance of that convention and its consequences and the evidence we have heard in relation to the risks faced by the appellants in the event of their being returned to India".

Seeking asylum

Mukhtar, 27 and Paramjit, 26, were born in the Punjab and came the the UK illegally in a lorry, the commission was told.

They applied for asylum which was refused in August last year and were told they would be deported. They appealed against both decisions.

Both had lived in the Birmingham area before their detention and Paramjit worked as an itinerant Sikh preacher in the UK.

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