Vaisakhi: Thousands to take part in parade in Coventry

Image caption, Last year’s parade in Coventry attracted around 10,000 people, organisers said.

  • author, Shehnaz Khan
  • role, BBC News, West Midlands

Thousands of Sikhs are expected to gather in Coventry this weekend to celebrate the Vaisakhi festival.

The Nagar Kirtan parade will begin at 10am (BST) on Sunday at Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash, Khanal Lane West.

Led by colourful floats, the procession will move through the city, heading along Stony Stanton Road and Fallshill Road before finishing back at Harnall Lane West.

Image caption, The Nagar Kirtan procession begins at Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash.

This year’s festival took place on April 13th.

Himmat Singh, the education secretary and organiser of Guru Nanak Parkash, said the parade was a “celebration of love, love for humanity and love for God”.

“The entire congregation … will parade through the city while distributing free food to everyone and singing songs praising God.

Mr Singh added that some major roads including Harnal Lane, Stoney Stanton Road and Fallshill Road will be closed during the event.

Organizers said this year’s march also marked the 40th anniversary of Operation Blue Star in 1984, when Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar in an attempt to drive out Sikh separatists.

According to the Indian government, about 400 people were killed, including 87 soldiers.

But Sikh groups dispute the figures and say thousands were killed.

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