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Gravesend celebrates Vaisakhi

Thousands of people turned out in Gravesend to mark the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi.

We speak to some of those who joined the procession including:

Cllr Gurjit Kaur Bains, Gravesham council; Gurvinder Sandher from Kent Equality Cohesion Council; Jasbinder Biring, co-organiser and Cllr Samir Jassal, Gravesham council.

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Worshippers arrive to celebrate Sikh festival of Vaisakhi

People arriving at Gurdwara in Gravesend Credit: Andy Dickenson

The Sikh community in Gravesend have been arriving at the Gurdwara temple in Gravesham ahead of celebrations to mark their holy festival of Vaisakhi. Hundreds of people will parade through the streets.

Vaisakhi originates from the harvest festival in the Punjab region of India. It also marks establishment of the Sikh community - known as the Khalsa.

The temple is at the centre of today's celebrations
New arrivals ahead of Vaisakhi celebrations

Sikh memorial unveiled to honour WW1 soldiers

Sikh memorial unveiled today Credit: ITV News Central

The UK's first national Sikh memorial in honour of those who fought during the Great War has been unveiled.

The memorial is the first of its kind and was made by a team in Basingstoke in Hampshire. The statue commemorates the 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the First World War.

Major General Patrick Sanders says it is important to recognise the role of Sikh soldiers during the Great War, and to honour their bravery:

Memorial to honour Sikh WW1 soldiers to be unveiled today

Sikh memorial, made in Basingstoke, to be unveiled today Credit: ITV News Meridian

The UK’s first national Sikh memorial in honour of those who fought during the Great War will be unveiled later today at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire.

The “WW1 Sikh Memorial” is the first of its kind, and was made by a team in Basingstoke in Hampshire.

The statue commemorates the 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the Great War.

Watch as the final finishing touches were made by craftsmen to the statue:

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Gravesend residents take part in Sikh prisoner protest

Gravesend residents were among thousands of Sikhs from across the country who protested outside Parliament today.

They're demanding answers about what the UK Government has done in the last few months to raise concerns about the plight of Sikh political prisoners in Indian jails.

ITV Meridian spoke to Gravesend campaigner, Sewa Singh Lalli.

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