Phase 2 of unofficial Khalistan referendum held in Canada's Surrey; combined voter count crosses 2 lakh, claims SFJ | Mint
Active Stocks
Wed Feb 28 2024 15:59:21
  1. Tata Motors share price
  2. 957.75 -0.52%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 140.75 -2.36%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,408.15 -0.87%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 279.55 -4.43%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 408.60 -0.62%
Business News/ News / World/  Phase 2 of unofficial Khalistan referendum held in Canada's Surrey; combined voter count crosses 2 lakh, claims SFJ
BackBack

Phase 2 of unofficial Khalistan referendum held in Canada's Surrey; combined voter count crosses 2 lakh, claims SFJ

The voting was held at the gurudwara in Surrey, outside of which pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead in June.

A man submits a ballot for the unofficial Khalistan referendum vote at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia on October 29 (AP)Premium
A man submits a ballot for the unofficial Khalistan referendum vote at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia on October 29 (AP)

The second phase of an unofficial Khalistan referendum, that was called by the radical group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), was conducted in Surrey town of Canada's British Columbia province on October 29.

The voting was held at Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, outside of which pro-Khalistan leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead on June 18. Over 60,000 people turned up to vote in the referendum that seeks to establish a separate homeland for Sikhs in India, a spokesperson of the SFJ said, according to news agency IANS.

The gurudwara in Surrey, where the voting was held, is also the same location where the first phase of referendum was conducted on September 10.

The SFJ spokesperson claimed that the combined number of voters of first and second round of the referendum has crossed 2 lakh, the IANS report added. The outcome of such a referendum would not be legally binding upon any of the stakeholders involved.

Notably, the SFJ was outlawed by the Indian government in 2019. However, the group continues to operate in Canada. 

Also read: India-Canada row: Indian High Commissioner speaks on visa suspensions, says ‘Situation still not ideal…'

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the co-organiser of the referendum, told media that they are planning more rounds of voting in Abbotsford, Edmonton, Calgary, and Montreal in 2024.

India and Canada's ties hit rock bottom last month when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged a potential link of Indian officials in the killing of Nijjar in June.

New Delhi had rejected the allegations as “absurd and motivated", and asked Ottawa to crack down on terrorists and anti-India elements operating from its soil. 

The diplomatic row led India to suspend visa services for Canadians, as it cited the safety of its diplomats working in the North American nation.

However, India on October 26 resumed the issuance of visas to Canadians for business and medical purposes, and for attending conferences.

Also read: India-Canada row: Canadian diplomats in Punjab, Chandigarh granting visas to Khalistani supporters, says report

The easing of the visa ban came days after Canada said it was recalling 41 of its 62 diplomats in India. The decision came after the Canadian government said that New Delhi warned it would strip their diplomatic immunity – something Canadian officials characterized as a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Also read: Nijjar killing row: India made aware of ‘credible allegation’ before PM Trudeau's parliament address, says Canada

Around 2 million Canadians, some 5 percent of the overall population, have Indian heritage. India is also Canada's largest source of foreign students, at roughly 40 percent.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 30 Oct 2023, 03:02 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App