Stop pro-Khalistan activities in Australia: Indian High Commissioner IG News

IG News Updates,

key points
  • Indian High Commissioner Manpreet Vohra raises concerns about pro-Khalistan activities with Victoria Premier Dan Andrews
  • The ‘Khalistan Referendum’ is a non-binding, non-official vote on the creation of an independent Sikh state
  • ‘Khalistan supporters defaming Sikhism’: Manpreet Vohra
On 29 January, a scuffle broke out between Khalistani supporters and people carrying Indian flags shortly before voting closed in the Melbourne chapter of the ‘Khalistan referendum’.
Organizers said the event in Federation Square was “largely peaceful” and well-attended.

Speaking exclusively to SBS Hindi, India’s High Commissioner to Australia Manpreet Vohra, who was visiting Melbourne after the event, said the recent incidents are highly disturbing and causing discord within the community.

Of course it is condemnable. It is also disappointing because there were indications that this could happen and we have been talking to the Australian authorities for several months.

Indian High Commissioner Manpreet Vohra

“Perhaps more could have been done to avoid the kind of hatred and violence that was witnessed on the streets of Melbourne,” Vohra said.


Sikhs wait in line to vote for the referendum in Melbourne. Credit: supply

He said pro-Khalistan elements based outside India and Australia, including Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a group that supports the creation of Khalistan, are trying to radicalize people in the name of religion and divide Indian-Australians. Was doing.

“It (the controversy) is regrettable. I wish it had been nipped in the bud,” he said.
On Monday, Mr Vohra tweeted about his visit , He also tweeted about meeting with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
After speaking with Mr Andrews, Mr Vohra hoped that steps would be taken by the state government to launch a comprehensive probe into Sunday’s violent activities and punish those responsible.

He said that the Prime Minister of the state has assured him of taking all necessary steps to prevent any such incident in future.

“One of the major points I made was that outside groups like Sikhs for Justice should be allowed to come into Australia and start activities, radical activities, organize so-called referendums… not activities that really should be done on Australian soil because they are against India’s interests, our security, our territorial integrity.
Asked whether he was concerned about the peace-loving image of the Indian community in Australia, Vohra said the activities being carried out by pro-Khalistan elements in the name of religion do not reflect the principles of Sikhism. .

“I am very concerned about the image of Sikhism and the Sikh community,” he said.

What happened at Fed Square does not reflect the principles of Sikhism and I am concerned that they (Khalistan supporters) were defaming the religion… The wider Indian Australian community is well respected and respected.

Indian High Commissioner Manpreet Vohra

Mr Vohra pointed out that the SFJ was a banned organization in India and said it was “unacceptable” for such a foreign group to organize a referendum in Australia.
“We (India) as a democracy also believe in freedom of expression, but there are some red lines, and how do you operate the freedom of expression,” he said, terming the recent referendum campaign as “one-sided”. commented.

When asked whether India was ready for talks on the Khalistan issue, he said, “Dialogue is always open and that is the way forward in any democracy. But holding a unilateral plebiscite is not a conversation.”

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SBS Hindi has also reached out to the Victorian Government for a response regarding Sunday’s incident.
A spokesman for the Victorian Government said people have a right to protest as long as it is peaceful.

“We have been clear in Victoria that violence of any kind is unacceptable – a sentiment that is reflected in both the Hindu and Sikh religions,” the spokesperson said.

Khalistan issue in the image of Australia

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