Home / News / India /  Khalistan Referendum in Canada: All you need to know

Over 100,000 Canadian Sikhs took part in voting for the Khalistan Referendum in Brampton, Ontario on 19 September which was organised by pro-Khalistani group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). Visuals on social media showed a huge number of men, women queueing up to vote in for Khalistan Referendum. 

The SFJ was banned in India in 2019 as an unlawful association. As part of its separatist agenda, SJF campaigns for a Punjab independence referendum to carve out a separate Khalistan.

As per the HindustanTimes Report, the Indian government had warned Canadian govt against the anti-India forces growing in the country. However, the Canadian government refused to stop them from expressing their views by holding the Khalistan Referendum and linking it with a peaceful and democratic process within the legal parameters of the country's laws.

The Khalistan referendum is demand of carving out a separate country from Punjab. “Once there is a consensus within the Punjabi people that independence from India is desired, we [Sikhs for Justice] will then approach the UN and other international forms and bodies with the goal of re-establishing Punjab as a nation state, Firstpost has reported citing Referendum 2020 website. 

Last week, a prominent Hindu temple was defaced by "Canadian Khalistani extremists" with anti-India graffiti in an apparent hate crime, prompting the Indian mission to condemn the incident and urge authorities to take swift action against the perpetrators.

The Indian High Commission tweeted saying, "We strongly condemn defacing of BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir Toronto with anti-India graffiti. Have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators."

Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament, Canada tweeted, "Vandalism of Toronto BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir by Canadian Khalistani extremists should be condemned by all. This is not just an isolated event. Canadian Hindu temples have been targeted in the recent past by these kinds of hate crimes. Hindu Canadians are legitimately concerned.

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a spiritual, volunteer-driven faith dedicated to improving society through individual growth by fostering the Hindu ideals of faith, unity, and selfless service.

Prior to that in August, Khalistan slogans were found painted on the walls of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, ANI had reported citing Pakistan's Geo News. A viral video circulating on social media showed the walls of the Indian Consulate with the "Khalistan Zindabad" slogan, the report added. This incident came as the outlawed Khalistani group issued a provocative statement in the wake of India's 75th anniversary of independence. Ahead of the Independence Day celebration in India, the Khalistani leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu recently announced a cash reward for the hoisting of the Khalistani flag at key places.

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