On the heels of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gearing up to host Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, pro-Khalistan secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has announced to hold Khalistan Referendum voting in Brisbane, Australia, on March 19th after a strong show of over 55,000 Australian Sikhs at Federation Square, Melbourne two weeks ago.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Sikhs for Justice General Counsel declared that the March 19th “Battlefield – Brisbane” Khalistan Referendum Voting Centre is dedicated to Shaheed Bhai Harmeet Singh Bhaowal and Shaheed Bibi Baljinder Kaur who were bombed to death along with their nine months old son Pavittar Singh on December 05, 1992 by the Indian Police forces in Haryana.

“While Modi regime is pursuing Violence to crush the Khalistan Referendum, SFJ is using voting to resolve decades-old conflict between the Sikhs and the Union of India,” stated SFJ General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in a video message.

“We urge PM Albanese to educate Modi that in democracy, seeking secession and independence through voting cannot be labelled as terrorism,” added Pannun, the New York based Attorney at Law who has been leading a global campaign for the creation of Khalistan.

SFJ announced that scores of November 1984 Sikh Genocide victim families from 32 Block Tirlokpuri, Delhi will be travelling to Brisbane to campaign for March 19 Khalistan Referendum voting.

Trilokpuri is the neighborhood of Delhi where during November 1984 Hindu death squads were led by Congress leader Bhagat and BJP leader Ram Jain, a close associate of PM Vajpayee, the then head of BJP. The death squads necklaced to death over 450 Sikh men and gang raped 100 plus Sikh women in broad day light in the presence of police.

Two weeks ago on 29 January, over 55,000 Sikhs voted for Khalistan Referendum at Melbourne’s Federation Square to raise demand for the creation of Khalistan in Indian Punjab.
While over 55,000 Sikh men and women — over the age of 18 — were eligible to cast their votes, an estimated 15,000 voters were unable to cast their votes due to time limitations. An estimated 300,000 Sikhs live in Australian cities and the SFJ had announced that it will take the Referendum campaign to other cities to accommodate Sikhs wishing to express their democratic right for the creation of Khalistan.

Outside the voting centres as Sikh youth and Hindutva supporters clashed and the local police arrested at least two people. Videos showed a group of Hinduta supporters attacking Sikh voters. Sikhs For Justice also released videos of a group of Indian men trying to vandalise Sikh Gurdwaras and actually vandalising three local Gurdwaras for supporting Khalistan Referendum.

The India govt has launched complaints with the UK, Canadian and Australian govts against Sikh groups, mainly Sikhs For Justice, for running pro-Khalistan campaigns. These govts have told Indians that no laws have been violated and while they stood by the Indian govt there is nothing they could do to stop their nationals from taking part in a democratic exercise.

Last week India told Canada that the Khalistan issue is of “national security concern” for New Delhi and that Ottawa should take stringent action against the Sikh groups. Sikhs For Justice says its activities are democratic and peaceful and covered by the local laws.

  • The writer is a UK and Europe Bureau Chief for Media Group. He regularly reports from UK and Europe with responsibility for all international bureaus. He can be reached on Twitter @azharjaveduk and azhar.javaid@dunyatv.tv

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