Canada, UK, Australia, US witness surge in pro-Khalistan demonstrations. Will this strain India’s foreign relations?

Pro-Khalistani groups have demonstrated outside Indian High Commissions in Canada, Australia, the United States, and the UK, protesting recent events and demanding an independent Sikh state. The protests have been met with a visible police presence and have not escalated into violence.

Edited By Sayantani Biswas
Updated9 Jul 2023
Sikhs for the independence of Khalistan protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada,
Sikhs for the independence of Khalistan protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada,(AFP)

Pro Khalistani groups demonstrating outside Indian High Commission in several countries have been reported. This includes, Indian High Commission outside Canada, Australia, and the United States.

Several reports confirm that the protests by the pro-Khalistani groups demonstrated controversial posters. The rally used controversial posters inciting violence with images of the Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami and Dr Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India in Birmingham, news agency PTI reported.

However, it is to be noted that all the protests have fizzled out sooner than expected, also owing to the visible police presence in all the countries. The protests came into limelight after the Punjab government unleashed a crackdown to arrest Pro Khalistan group leader and then fugitive Amritpal Singh in India.

In Canada

A few hundred members of Canada's Sikh community demonstrated outside the Indian consulate in Toronto on Saturday to protest the unsolved murder of one of their leaders last month in the Vancouver area.

They accused the Indian government of being responsible for the gunning down of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, president of a Sikh temple and campaigner for the creation of an independent Sikh state that supporters hope to call Khalistan.

The demonstrators, almost exclusively men, carried yellow flags with blue logos representing their separatist movement, and shouted "Khalistan! Khalistan!"

Since the murder of the Sikh leader, tensions have risen between Canada and India.

In London

Around 30-40 Khalistanis gathered outside the Indian High Commission in London on Saturday.

The protesters gathered outside the Indian High Commission from around 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm GMT today. The security in the area was beefed up with the presence of UK police at the spot.

The UK government declared that any direct attacks on the High Commission of India in London are unacceptable amid the anti-India attacks and posters by Khalistani extremists emerging on social media channels.

In Australia

While the incidences in Canada, London are recent, in January this year, a scuffle broke out between the Indian diaspora and Khalistan supporters in Australia during a referendum called by the banned Sikhs For Justice for the creation of an independent Sikh state, local media reported.

Further in March, Khalistan supporters gathered outside Australian parliament in Canberra, to protest against police crackdown on radical preacher Amritpal Singh and his associates in Punjab.

In US

In March 2023, a group of pro-Khalistan protesters attacked and damaged the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, prompting sharp condemnation from Indian-Americans who demanded immediate action against those responsible for it, as reported by PTI.

Raising pro-Khalistan slogans, the protesters broke open the makeshift security barriers raised by the city police and installed two so-called Khalistani flags inside the Consulate premises. Two consulate personnel soon removed these flags.

Soon thereafter, a group of angry protesters entered the consulate premises and started hitting the door and windows with the iron rods.

 

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HomeNewsworldCanada, UK, Australia, US witness surge in pro-Khalistan demonstrations. Will this strain India’s foreign relations?

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