India raised concerns to the UK for allowing banned pro-Khalistan organization Sikhs for Justice to hold a referendum on the secession of Punjab on October 31.
According to Indian media, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval told his UK counterpart that the Indian government takes strong exception to the UK allowing a referendum on affairs of a third country by weaponizing a minuscule section of the Indian diaspora.
Furthermore, India accused the UK of ignoring the open radicalization of the Indian diaspora by Sikh banned groups to promote their secessionist agenda.
Thousands of Sikhs in London took part in a referendum based on Punjab’s secession from India. Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) organized the voting at the Queen Elizabeth Centre near the British parliament on Sunday.
SFJ is an international human rights advocacy group spearheading the campaign for Sikhs’ right to self-determination.
Sikhs who took part in the voting process responded to the question: “Should Indian-governed Punjab Be An Independent Country?”
Khalistan: Escaping the Indian government
The referendum comes as Sikhs seek a separate homeland called Khalistan. The state will be free from the Indian government’s atrocities against the Sikh community.
Chartered buses from more than 100 Gurdwaras transported voters to Queen Elizabeth Centre. Voters formed large queues throughout the day to get into the hall for voting. More than 200 Sikhs volunteered for the day.
Furthermore, SFJ will share the findings of the referendum with international bodies, including the United Nations. According to the UN Charter, the right to self-determination is a fundamental right of every person.
Although the referendum is non-governmental and non-binding, SFJ will certainly use it to request an official binding vote from the UN on establishing the Indian governed region of Punjab as an independent state for Sikhs.
Punjab referendum underway in Westminster London now , historic vote on Khalistan pic.twitter.com/VzP85v8Tnh
— Lord Nazir Ahmed (@nazir_lord) October 31, 2021
Speaking on the occasion, Paramjeet Singh Pamma, the UK Coordinator for Khalistan Referendum, said the successful participation showed that Sikhs would never forget India’s persecution of the Sikh community.
“Sikhs realized their salvation lies only in an independent homeland called Khalistan,” he further added.
He also revealed that after the UK, SFJ will organize the referendum in the US, Canada, Australia, and the regions of Punjab.
A week before the referendum, the SFJ released a new map of India. The new map showed Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and several districts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as part of Khalistan.
Indian atrocities against the Sikh community
In 1984, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to attack the Harmandir Sahib complex in Amritsar, Punjab. Sikhs worldwide criticized the army action and many saw it as an assault on their religion and identity. As a result, clashes erupted between the Sikh community and the Indian government.
Moreover, Indira Gandhi’s Sikh bodyguards assassinated her in retaliation to her orders. The assassination led to anti-Sikh riots across India, killing over 17000 Sikhs, and displacing around 50,000.
Most important, the Sikh community, along with the Muslims, are the target of mass human rights violations, courtesy of the Indian government.
To sum up, the Sikhs are actively campaigning for a separate homeland as they seek to protect their identity and religion.