India’s push to stop Khalistan Referendum in Australia faces roadblock
The BJP government has failed to convince or force the Australian authorities to prohibit the Khalistan Referendum polling at Federation Square, where tens of thousands of Sikhs are due to vote.
Since pro-Khalistan group the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) announced to hold a referendum in Melbourne, the Indian government has used diplomatic pressure against Sikh campaign organisers to stop the voting process, but the organisers have complied with all legal requirements. The Indian High Commission in India released a press release expressing its anger and frustration.
The High Commission of India stated that “pro-Khalistan elements are stepping up their activities in Australia, actively aided and abetted by members of proscribed terrorist organisations such as the Sikhs for Justice and other inimical agencies from outside Australia” and that this has been “evident for some time”.
“Strongly condemning the profoundly troubling episodes of vandalization, including of three Hindu temples in Melbourne in recent weeks,” the Indian embassy said. The graffiti glorifying anti-Indian terrorists and the vandals’ impunity are frightening. These incidents clearly aim to divide and hate.
“Our concerns have regularly been communicated with the Australian Government, both through the High Commission and our Consulates in Australia and by our Government with the Australian High Commission in Delhi,” it says.
The press release shows how seriously the Indian government tried to stop the Khalistan Referendum voting, but local Sikhs were able to gain the support of several parliamentarians, human rights groups, and local communities who campaigned that a peaceful community like Sikhs cannot be stopped from voting.
“It has been highlighted to the Australian Government to ensure the safety and security of members of the Indian community and their properties in Australia, and to not allow the use of Australian territory for activities detrimental to the territorial integrity, security, and national interest of India,” it lamented.
Since the 1990s, successive Indian administrations have used their economic power to label the Khalistan movement as terrorism, but SFJ has organised the vote under the supervision of the Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC) on the question of “Should Indian Governed Punjab Be An Independent Country?”
He said India can no longer associate Khalistan with violence.
“Khalistan is a political opinion as acknowledged by governments of Australia, UK, EU, Canada, and the USA while the Modi dictatorship is still using diplomatic avenues to halt Referendum voting,” Pannun said.
He added the Indian High Commission has claimed attacks on Hindu temples in Melbourne to distract from attacks on Khalistan Referendum banners and recognised Sikh individuals.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the group had no evidence linking the vandalism to the Khalistan Referendum. The Sikh leader revealed CCTV evidence of Melbourne Khalistan banner vandalism.
Pannun shared footage of men defacing Shaheed Bhindranwale and Khalistan posters.
Pannun added in his video statement that Hindu racists backed by Modi have been vandalising Shaheed Bhindranwale and Khalistan Referendum banners for a month.
Pannun stated India-backed Hindutva gangs defaced revered Sikh figures’ posters and photos.