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 protest, backed by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice or SFJ, had been publicised through the circulation of the infamous ‘Kill India’ posters online, which targeted India’s seniormost envoys in Canada and UK.
The rallies used controversial posters inciting violence with images of the Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami and Dr Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India in Birmingham.
The Khalistani group held posters of SFJ leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was murdered in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. The posters accused India of being behind the assassination. Other posters promoted the so-called Punjab Referendum’s next phase, in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA on July 16. Some of them also wore jackets, bearing the legend Republic of Khalistan and bearing an image of an AK47.
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 London, a very small group of protesters turned out on Saturday for a protest called by pro-Khalistani groups outside the Indian High Commission in London. There was a very visible police presence throughout the protest, which wrapped sooner than expected.
Earlier this week, 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.
“Any direct attacks on the Indian High Commission in London are completely unacceptable,” said Cleverly.
In Toronto, the patriotic Indian turned the Khalistani protest into a damp squib. Hundreds of Indian diaspora, who outnumbered the Khalistani supporters, raised slogans like “Bharat Mata ki jai”, “Vande Mataram” and “Long Live India”. The members of the Indian community on Saturday countered the pro-Khalistan rally by gathering outside the consulate to safeguard the office and the diplomats in Canada’s Toronto.
Both Indians and Khalistani elements were separated by a line of Toronto Police personnel, even as barricades were erected to restrain the protestors and the section of Bloor Street where the building is located, was blocked to traffic.
The pro-Khalistan group attempted to breach the barricade and storm the pro-India contingent. Police pushed them back and one person who rushed ahead was thrown to the ground and subdued and taken away by the police.
The pro-India group did not flinch even when the attempted attack was prevented and though they were outnumbered. After the group was dispersed on Saturday evening, amid light rain, by police, one of them, Arvind Mishra said, “We were successfully able to demonstrate resistance to the Khalistanis.”
Toronto witnessed the largest of the ‘Kill India’ protests by far. About 30 protesters gathered across the road from India’s high commission in Ottawa but were peaceful. The protest in Vancouver attracted about 50 protestors and passed without incident.
In Australia, recently a scuffle broke out between the Indian diaspora and Khalistan supporters during a referendum called by the banned Sikhs For Justice for the creation of an independent Sikh state, local media reported.
What is Kill India protest?
The rallies on Saturday were held in the name of a Khalistani Terrorist Nijjar. The terrorist organization SFJ (Sikh For Justice) has blamed India for his “assassination”. Nijjar was murdered in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Sahib in Surrey, which he headed. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team or Investigation Team or IHIT, which is probing the killing, has not ascribed any motive while it seeks the murderers.
Nijjar was the head of a terrorist organization Khalistan Tiger Force by Indian law enforcement and faced several terror-related charges, while being the principal SFJ figure in the Metro Vancouver region. The National Investigation Agency or NIA had announced an award of ₹10 lakh for information leading to his capture. None of the charges against him were tested in Canadian courts and SFJ has maintained it does not use violence.