Khalistanis hold referendum in Canada as Modi raises 'anti-India' issue with Trudeau
The voting took place at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, which was headed by Sikh for Justice leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar when he was shot dead on June 18
Thousands took part in a referendum for Khalistan in Surrey in Canada as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi complained to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau about “anti-India activities” in that country.
The voting on Sunday (September 10) took place at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, which was headed by Sikh for Justice (SJF) leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar when he was shot dead on June 18 at a parking lot.
The SJF, which advocates an independent Sikh state called Khalistan, hastily arranged the referendum in Surrey as Trudeau took part in the G20 summit in New Delhi and then met Modi for bilateral talks.
The SFJ, which blamed India for Nijjar’s killing, has announced another round of referendum on October 29, also in Surrey.
The Sunday referendum was originally to be held at the Tamanawis Secondary School.
However, a week earlier, the school cancelled the event because the organizers had put up a picture of an AK-47 gun as well as a kirpan.
Claims made by SJF
The outlawed SFJ said more than 100,000 people attended the Sunday event, the Global News channel reported.
“The turnout tells us, and the wider community, that the issue of Khalistan is not an issue for a fringe group of people, rather this is a deep-rooted issue that touches the hearts and minds of many Sikhs,” SJF’s Jatinder Grewal said.
In New Delhi, Modi told Trudeau on Saturday that the extremist elements were promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats, damaging diplomatic premises and threatening the Indian community in Canada and their places of worship.
Trudeau told the media in the Indian capital that Diaspora Canadians make up a huge proportion of Canada.
“They should be able to express themselves and make their choices without interference from any of the many countries that we know are involved in interference challenges,” he said.