MELBOURNE – Tensions within the Indian community have risen over a spate of graffiti attacks on pro-Khalistan banners and Sikh figures who symbolise Khalistan activism including the revered Shaheed Bhindranwale.
The Khalistan Referendum voting is set to take place on Sunday 29 January in Federation Square but ahead of the voting, organised by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), there are reports of several attacks on banners and posters being used for the Khalistan Referendum and attacks on posters of Sikh figures who were hanged by the Indian authorities for supporting Khalistan.
Sikh campaigners have accused the Indian govt of sponsoring attacks on Khalistan Referendum posters as well as Sikh figures to incite troubles.
The Indian Hindu community said the ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple in Albert Park, Melbourne, was defaced with anti-Hindu slogans with graffiti saying “Hindustan Murdabad”, “Sant Bhindrawale is Martyr” and “Khalistan Zindabad”.
It said a similar attack had taken place on the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs and the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Mill Park.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, general counsel for Sikhs for Justice, said the group had no information that the recent acts of vandalism were linked to the Khalistan Referendum. The Sikh leader released CCTV footage showing vandalism of Khalistan banners in areas of Melbourne.
“Through this referendum, we aim to quantify the will of the Sikh people on the question of Khalistan and debunk the Indian government’s narrative that demand for Khalistan is unpopular and subscribed to by a small and fringe faction of Sikhs,” he said.
“Through the referendum we wish the world to know that Khalistan is a political opinion and not terrorism and advocating for Khalistan through referendum is peaceful, democratic and non-violent.”
Pannun said an overwhelming number of Sikhs had been forced to flee their homeland due to persecution at the hands of Indian authorities. He said that the Indian govt has routinely used scare tactics to divert attention from the Khalistan activism in diaspora communities.
The New York based attorney and campaigner said that the Punjab independence referendum has been named after Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, who were executed for their involvement in the assassination of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in October 1984.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that the SFJ aims to use the results from votes around the world to pressure the United Nations into recognising a separate Sikh state called Khalistan.
He said there was evidence which showed that the Indian govt was carrying out attacks against Sikhs in the Australian city to stop Sikhs from taking part in a peaceful voting process.
The video released by Mr Pannun showed men vandalising Shaheed Bhindranwale and Khalistan posters. Pannun said in his video statement: “For the last one month, these Hindu supremacists backed by the Modi regime are vandalising Shaheed Bhindranwale and Khalistan Referendum banners.”
Pannun said that the men linked to vandalism on holy Sikh figures were from hardline Hindutva groups, backed by India, defacing the posters and pictures.
He continued in the video: “This Indian regime is trying to use the old terror tactics and against calling pro-Khalistan Sikhs as terrorists. Remember Modi and remember Hindus in Australia: this is not 1990 that you will label pro-Khalistan Sikh as terrorists and they will go home. These Hindu nationalists in Australia are the offsprings of those who committed genocide of Sikhs, who distributed sweets when Indira Gandhi attacked the Golden Temple. These men are offsprings of those extremist Hindutva elements. The SFJ believes in ballot, not bullets, unlike this Indian regime which has used bombs and bullets to silence Sikhs. Indian regime, you have failed in Canada and you will fail in Australia.”
Tensions started locally around three months ago when banners appeared across Melbourne and a car rally on January 15 marked the 34th martyrdom day of Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh who were hanged on 6th January 1989 for assassinating the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to avenge Operation Blue Star against holiest Sikh shrine - the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
Thousands of Sikhs, who have migrated from Indian Punjab to Australia, have been seen campaigning for the Khalistan Referendum over the last two months and they have held several events attracting thousands of Sikhs to these events, calling for secessionist break-away state for Sikhs in India.
KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on March 21, 2023 (Tuesday).
Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
|UK Pound Sterling||GBP||340.5||344|
|Hong Kong Dollar||HKD||35.9||36.25|
|New Zealand Dollar||NZD||176.66||178.6|
KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 204,700 on Tuesday.The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs175,500.
Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,849.
Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.
|Lahore||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Karachi||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Islamabad||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Peshawar||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Quetta||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Sialkot||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Attock||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Gujranwala||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Jehlum||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Multan||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Bahawalpur||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Gujrat||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Nawabshah||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Chakwal||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Hyderabad||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Nowshehra||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Sargodha||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Faisalabad||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
|Mirpur||PKR 204,700||PKR 2,390|
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