Over 42,000 Canadian Sikhs participate in Khalistan referendum despite Indian threats

The Khalistan Referendum Center at Gurdwara Maltan was dedicated to Late Mohinder Singh Khalsa on 16 July.  - Author
The Khalistan Referendum Center at Gurdwara Maltan was dedicated to Late Mohinder Singh Khalsa on 16 July. – Author

Ontario: Over 42000 Canadian Sikhs reach Khalistan referendum polling station in Malton, Ontario, following the killing of pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, by two men.

Within a month of the murder of a pro-Kahlistan leader outside a local temple, the second phase of the Canadian Khalistan referendum was celebrated by the Modi government and the Indian media. The Indian government and Modi claimed the killing would dampen pro-Khalistani Sikh fervour, but Sunday’s polling in Malton showed Sikhs were not swayed by the high-profile killing of Hardeep Singh, allegedly by Indian agencies .

Over 42,000 Sikhs voted in the second phase of the Khalistan referendum in Canada.

The Khalistan Referendum Center at Gurudwara Malton on 16 July was dedicated to Mohinder Singh Khalsa, a Canadian martyr who left the country in the 1990s to fight for Khalistan.

The Sikhs who attended the event carried banners and flags bearing slogans of Khalistan, demanding independence from India and paying homage to those Sikhs who were allegedly killed directly or indirectly by India for supporting the cause of Khalistan. had been murdered.

The men, women and youth participating in the program raised slogans calling for avenging the killing of the Sikh leader and other slain Khalistanis.

The voting was arranged by Sikhs for Justice under the supervision of the independent Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC). SFJ General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said about the vote: “The killing of Martyr Nijjar by India acted as a catalyst for the ongoing Khalistan campaign. Thousands joined the Toronto referendum, challenging the Modi government’s efforts to stop the movement.

Pannun, who is coordinating the global “Kill India” campaign to highlight Nijjar’s killing by Indian security agencies, said, “India’s violence will be responded to with equal force by pro-Khalistan Sikhs.”

Nijjar, who was murdered in Surrey on June 18, was one of the most prominent Canadian Khalistanis and the main coordinator of the Canadian chapter of the Khalistan referendum. Sikh organizations and Nijjar’s family have alleged that Indian security agencies are responsible for the killing as Nijjar was a prominent activist of the pro-Khalistan Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and was one of the frontline Sikhs who campaigned around Khalistan referendum. Was running a collection drive. Capitals of Western Europe.

Prior to the July 16 vote in Toronto, Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma threatened that pro-India Canadian Hindus would violently protest the July 16 Khalistan vote, after which the SFJ urged the Canadian Prime Minister to intervene against Verma’s rights. Wrote to expel to. Canadian Sikh.

In an official release dated July 13, 2023, High Commissioner Verma addressed the Canadian government, saying that Sikhs for Justice’s “illegal referendum” was an ineffective attempt to undermine Canada-India relations. Furthermore, he warned Canadian Sikhs that millions of supporters of India in Canada would contest the ill-intentioned Khalistan referendum to be held on July 16 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the SFJ criticized High Commissioner Verma for not only interfering in Canada’s internal affairs, but also for attempting to suppress the freedom of expression of Canadian Sikhs. He expressed concern that Verma’s comments incited violence and encouraged pro-India Canadians to harm Canadian Sikhs for peacefully expressing their political opinions.

A week earlier on 8 July, the SFJ held “Kill India” rallies in Indian missions in Canada, the US, the UK and Italy and released photographs of Indian diplomats in these countries as persons responsible for the alleged killings. Since then India has vigorously asked foreign governments to stop the SFJ’s Khalistan plebiscite but to no avail.

24 hours before the Khalistan referendum vote, India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Canadian counterpart Melanie Jolie on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) ministerial meeting in the Indonesian capital.

Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting, “Met Canadian Foreign Minister Melanjolie in Jakarta, discussed the Indo-Pacific and our economic cooperation.” “Underlined the importance of ensuring the safety of our diplomats. And the need to resolutely combat incitement to violence,” he said in a tweet.

The meeting comes days after Canada assured India of the safety of its diplomats following the online circulation of Khalistani posters. India has asked its partner countries like Canada, UK and US not to give space to “extremist Khalistani ideology” as it is “not good” for ties.

The “radical, extremist Khalistani ideology” is not good for India or its allies like the US, Canada, UK and Australia, he told reporters on the sidelines of an outreach campaign of the BJP in New Delhi.

More than one million people have voted so far in the UK, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and Canada in the global Khalistan referendum, organized under the supervision of the PRC.

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