HomeWorld NewsCanadian Sikh community participates in rally ahead of Khalistan Referendum

Canadian Sikh community participates in rally ahead of Khalistan Referendum

Members of Canada’s Sikh community participate in an ‘Azad Khalistan’ rally near Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in British Columbia, ahead of the Khalistan Referendum, on October 28, 2023. — Photo by author

VANCOUVER, CANADA: On the day before the Khalistan Referendum, a large rally was held in Surrey, British Columbia, with members of the Sikh community marching for a two-kilometre distance carrying Khalistan flags.

The rally was held against India and a centre for voting was established at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara.

During the rally, the participants chanted slogans such as “Delhi bane ka khalasa,” “Lay keh Rahain gay khalasa,” “Punjab Banay Ga Khalistan” and “Azad Khalistan,” with enthusiasm and fervour.

The participants also demanded justice for Shaheed Hardeep Singh Nijjar, urging the authorities to take action against his killers.

The attendants appreciated the stance of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has publicly accused India of killing the Sikh leader and hunting several other Canadian Sikhs, condemning state terrorism by the Indian government that occurred within Canada.

Rally participants vowed to preserve the values and vision of Nijjar, who met a tragic end at the hands of Indian agents in June. They passionately chanted slogans such as “Hardeep Nijjar tera khatil kon? Hindustan, Hindustan!

Looking ahead, several thousand Sikhs are set to take part in the upcoming October 29 (Sunday) referendum. A mere three months ago, 135,000 Sikhs rallied in support of the Sikh cause at Gurunanak Sikh Gurdwara in British Columbia.

Addressing the Council of Khalistan, President Dr Bakhshish Singh Sandhu stated that the Sikh nation is seeking from India the identical right employed by India during the annexation of the Junagadh state in 1948.

He said the global community stands in solidarity with the Sikh nation in their pursuit of Punjab’s freedom, which they intend to achieve through a referendum, wherein the right to vote would be exercised.

Dr Sandhu suggests that the right to conduct a referendum is granted by countries to their citizens. He stated that the assassination of Nijjar had united the entire Sikh nation.

Dr Sandhu has conveyed that, according to the Canadian government, the Indian government has a connection to the murder of Nijjar as Trudeau has indicated that his country possesses significant evidence related to the Sikh leader’s murder.

Sikhs memorialised Nijjar — murdered before the referendum — by displaying his pictures outside the Gurdwara.

A massive board featuring pictures of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s Ambassador to Canada, Jay Krishna, was erected in front of the Gurunanak Singh Sikh Gurudwara in Vancouver.

The pictures serve as a means of conveying that the individuals responsible for Niijar’s murder are of Indian origin, as stated by Dr Sindhu.

Nijjar served as the chief coordinator of the Khalistan Referendum campaign in Canada and had a strong affiliation with Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a Khalistani leader based in the US. Pannun holds the position of Counsel General within Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), the advocacy group overseeing the global Khalistan Referendum efforts.

Nijjar, Pannun, UK-based Paramjeet Singh Pamma and others were designated “terrorists” by the Indian government in 2020.

He was also President of Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in British Columbia – Canada’s biggest Gurdawara.

The Khalistan Referendum voting campaign is being organised under the supervision of the independent Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC) which will announce the results when all phases are completed.

The voting began on October 31, 2021, in London, UK and has so far been held in several cities across the UK, Geneva Switzerland, Rome and Milan (Italy), Australian cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney; and Canadian cities of Brampton, Mississauga, Malton (Ontario), and Vancouver (British Columbia).

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