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Posted at: Sep 13, 2017, 1:55 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2017, 1:55 AM (IST)

Over 100 UK MPs back Sikh demand on Census change

London, September 12

Over 100 British MPs, including Indian-origin lawmakers, have asked the UK Statistics Authority to include ‘Sikh’ as a separate ethnic box for the 2021 Census to give the community a fair access to all public services in the country.

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs and the Sikh Federation UK are leading calls for the change.

“I believe that wherever possible it is right that people should be given the opportunity to identify themselves. With more than 400,000 Sikhs in the UK but no real way to track that without the separate box on the Census, now is the right time to let people define as they wish,” said Virendra Sharma, an Indian-origin Labour MP in the British Parliament.

Sharma is among the 113 signatories of the letter addressed to John Pullinger, UK National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The authority oversees the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which had revealed earlier this year that it was undertaking research on adding ‘Sikh’ and ‘Kashmiri’ as separate ethnic tick boxes in the 2021 Census. — PTI

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