London, Feb 29 (IANS) A Sikh group in Britain has urged the media and politicians to stop describing the Rotherham grooming gang, which was handed combined sentence of more than 100 years for sexual assault on women, as “Asian”.
Sikh Federation UK said the use of term “Asian” for the Rotherham gang is too vague and “besmirches” other communities, The Independent reported on Sunday.
Rotherham gang is a group in Britain, including four Pakistani men and two British women who groomed, raped, prostituted and abused teenage girls in Rotherham town of England and were handed combined prison sentences of 103 years on Friday.
It was found that at least 1,400 girls had been sexually exploited in Rotherham over a 16-year period.
Bhai Amrik Singh, chairman of the Sikh Federation UK said he hoped their combined prison sentences of more than 100 years would give a measure of justice to “victims that have endured more than a decade of violence and horrific sexual abuse”.
“One of the demands in the Sikh Manifesto that we published a year ago before the General Election was that the government should encourage public bodies and the media to abandon the use of the term ‘Asian’ when describing perpetrators for reasons of political correctness,” Singh was quoted as saying.
“If the four men that have been found guilty and carried out the abuse were Pakistani Muslims, this is how they should be described and not called Asian,” he added.
The term “Asian” was earlier criticised in December 2013, when Sikh and Hindu groups started a petition against the use of the word for the gang.
In a joint statement, the Hindu Council UK, the Network of Sikh Organisations, Sikh Media Monitoring Group and the Sikh Awareness Society had said: “Communities who themselves fall victim of this emerging pattern of criminality, should not be besmirched by the vague terminology ‘Asian’ … in order to help find a solution to the problem, we need to be clear on the identity of those involved.”
The petition closed with 1,859 signatures calling for the word “Asian” not to be used in grooming and sex abuse cases.