Tensions rise forward of Khalistan voting in Brisbane


Members of the Sikh community protest against the Indian government. — Photo by author
Members of the Sikh neighborhood protest in opposition to the Indian authorities. — Picture by creator

BRISBANE: Tensions have risen right here forward of the Khalistan Referendum voting on March 19 as dozens of pro-Khalistan Sikhs rounded up and compelled the closure of India’s honorary consulate in Brisbane and the Australian authorities issued an up to date journey advisory advising its residents in opposition to travelling to India on account of a “excessive threat of violence” in sure states, together with Punjab.

Forward of the March 19 polling organised by pro-Khalistan secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), the Indian Exterior Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi has mentioned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised along with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese the current alleged incidents of assaults on temples in Australia in addition to pro-Khalistani actions in that nation.

It’s understood that the Indian PM Modi raised the difficulty with the Australian authorities after over 50,000 Sikhs turned as much as vote for the Khalistan Referendum in Melbourne for the primary section of the referendum on the finish of January this 12 months. Clashes broke out on streets between Sikhs and Hindu teams exterior the voting centre and several other arrests had been made.

Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has mentioned that Sikhs have come below assault from hardline Hindutva supporters in Australia and so they had been captured on movies defacing Khalistan banners hanged on the Sikh temples. On March 15, the consulate of India situated on Swann Highway in Brisbane was compelled to shut down after pro-Khalistan supporters blockaded its entry, elevating slogans for justice.

Queensland Police have mentioned the pro-Khalistan and anti-India protest was lawful and peaceable. MEA spokesperson Bagchi in his media discuss confirmed {that a} group of Sikhs protestors had entered the consulate and the work was halted. Bagchi mentioned India has taken up the difficulty with the Australian authorities.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Sikhs for Justice Basic Counsel declared that the March 19 “Battlefield – Brisbane” Khalistan Referendum Voting Centre is devoted to Shaheed Bhai Harmeet Singh Bhaowal and Shaheed Bibi Baljinder Kaur who had been bombed to demise together with their 9 months outdated son Pavittar Singh on December 5, 1992, by the Indian Police forces in Haryana.

“Whereas the Modi regime is pursuing violence to crush the Khalistan Referendum, SFJ is utilizing voting to resolve the decades-old battle between the Sikhs and the Union of India,” acknowledged SFJ Basic Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in a video message. “We had urged PM Albanese to teach Modi that in democracy, searching for secession and independence by way of voting can’t be labelled as terrorism,” added Pannun, the New York-based Legal professional at Regulation who has been main a world marketing campaign for the creation of Khalistan.

It’s understood that the Indian authorities will not be pleased with the current Australian journey advisory cautioning its residents planning a visit to India to train a excessive diploma of warning.

“We now advise you to rethink must journey to the Attari-Wagah border crossing, the north-eastern states of Assam (besides Guwahati), Nagaland and Manipur; and Chhattisgarh, and the border areas of neighbouring states because of the excessive threat of violence,” the federal government states in its newest advisory.

The Australian authorities has additionally urged its residents to not journey to the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu Kashmir (IIOJK) and the India-Pakistan border (besides the Attari–Wagah border crossing) because of the hazard of armed clashes.

The March 19 voting for Khalistan Referendum goes to happen in Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, a government-owned and operated facility, whereas pro-India Hindu group is anticipated to point out up for a counter-protest.

The Indian authorities and a pro-India faction of the Indian diaspora appear perplexed on the Australian refusal to take down the Khalistan Referendum marketing campaign and voting, which India considers as “terrorism difficult to India’s territorial integrity”.

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