ISI-backed pro-Khalistan group spreads fangs in Australia

The violence committed by Khalistani terrorists against Indian Hindus and people of Indian descent is spreading to other countries. It has already become a significant issue in the UK and Canada; it has surfaced in the US; and it has recently become violent in Australia. A violent group of extremists attacked and hurt the Indians who were protesting, peacefully, the referendum conducted by extremists “Sikhs for Justice” of Gur-Patwant Singh Pannu, radical group, supported and funded by Khalistan supporters. India has condemned the recent incidents of vandalism in Australia and said it has asked the Australian government to ensure that country’s territory is not used for activities detrimental to “our security, integrity, and national interest.” “We strongly condemn such attacks by extremist elements. We urge the local authorities to investigate and punish the perpetrators. We have been repeatedly taking up with the Australian authorities our concerns about actions by such elements, including the proscribed terrorist organisations,”

Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi noted when asked about the government’s stand on Khalistani extremism incidents in Australia. Australia, unlike Canada and a few European countries, had been spared by Khalistani terrorists. But since the past few years, support for the Khalistan movement has started emerging in Australia. Khalistan supporters asserted management of some Gurudwaras, especially in Melbourne and Sydney. “Hate against Hindus, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and PM Narendra Modi increased based on false narratives that the RSS was responsible for the 1984 riots and Operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple,” said Prakash Mehta, National President of the Hindu Council of Australia. Mehta further said that, “nationalist Sikhs are scared to raise voice against brutal assault by Khalistanis, as they fear that their relatives in Punjab shall be harassed”.

Debt ridden Pakistan, its ISI, and GHQ have been at the forefront of fomenting antiIndia sentiments. It is shocking to know that supporters of Khalistan in Australia demanded a referendum for the region, which includes parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and the National Capital Region of Delhi, in addition to Punjab. Pakistan-administered Punjab, which also has a very rich history of Sikhism and is home to most important shrines for Sikhs, is not mentioned in their demand, which is significant because it is restricted to India, apparently, as Khalistanis cannot possibly go against their paymasters in Pakistan, the ISI and GHQ Rawalpindi. Pakistan, a nation that has made sure the Sikh community is persecuted, coerced into conversion, or killed, is not mentioned in the Khalistani plan, while the country that has had both a Sikh Prime Minister and a Sikh President and has innumerable success stories of community members all over the landscape, India, has to be broken into bits. In a broader sense, this animosity toward Hindus and Indians can be partially attributed to the western media, authors, and academics who, since 2014, have worked as hard as Pakistan’s ISI and GHQ to maintain the heat on identity politics by demonising India’s majority community as bigoted extremists. Cut to the chase: Their visceral hatred for Indians and Hindus transcends their hatred for Narendra Modi. Their claim, which is tinged with a strong leftist bias, is that the Hindus in India are majoritarians who harbour animosity toward minorities, and hence Hindus should be persecuted, while all voices that suggest otherwise should be discounted. The Melbourne incident makes it abundantly clear how hateful these radicalized, brainwashed individuals are of India and Indians.

The visuals clearly show that the attack was unprovoked. In contrast, the attackers were waving the Khalistani flag. Some of them are also seen carrying rods and shouting “death to India.” The Indian High Commission in Canberra had feared this. On 26 January, the Indian High Commission issued a statement and urged Australia to ensure the safety of Indians during these referendums. The Indian mission statement read that “these incidences are clear attempts to sow hatred and division among the peaceful multi-faith and multi-cultural Indian Australian community.” Such incidents of vandalism by Khalistani supporters have gone viral on social media, but they’re not isolated ones. In the last few weeks, three Hindu temples had been vandalized in Australia. The walls of these temples were defaced with pro-Khalistani and anti-India slogans. On 12 January, the Swaminarayan Temple in the Mill Park area of Melbourne was desecrated. On 16 January, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu temple in Carom Downs, Victoria, was damaged, and on the 23 January, the ISKCON temple in Albert Park, Melbourne, was defaced. Authorities of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, or ISKCON, had expressed concern and raised the matter with the Government of Australia. Unfortunately, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Similar attacks had been seen in other countries, like Canada and Britain. In October last year, pro-Khalistani hooligans clashed with Indian supporters in Brampton, Canada. This was during Diwali celebrations at a mall. Around 500 people had gathered there for celebrations. Khalistanis shouted “Khalistan Zindabad,” and people gathered and responded with the chant “Jai Shri Ram.” Same shameful story in Britain, where khalistanis attacked a group of British Indians outside the Indian High Commission in London. This happened in March 2019. Similar incidents were reported during India’s Independence Day celebrations. This raises some pertinent questions about who is supporting these groups. How do they operate and attack Indians with impunity?

Siddhartha Dave is an alumnus of the United Nations University in Tokyo and a former Lok Sabha Research Fellow. He writes on foreign affairs and security

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