Tension in Brampton With Planned Referendum by Khalistanis
BRAMPTON, CANADA (IANS) – Palpable tensions prevail here, in Canada’s Ontario state, as Khalistanis have launched a campaign to conduct a so-called referendum on the issue of creating a separate homeland for the Sikhs in India.
The activists of the banned anti-India organization, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), are distributing fliers at the entrance of different Gurdwaras asking Indians, especially Punjabis, to participate in the “referendum” on September 18 at a community center.
The move is being staunchly opposed by pro-India Canadians led by Azad Singh Goyat, an established community advocate and a politician.
Goyat has objected to the use of public property by Khalistanis who are putting up posters and fixing signboards to publicize the referendum date and venue. “Illegal signs mushrooming on public property in Brampton need to be removed by the administration and the police. Why is the community leadership sleeping? Why is it not asking the government to curb the illegal actions of a handful of people?” Goyat posted on Facebook.
He has issued an ultimatum to the administration and the police to remove the referendum campaign material from public properties by August 29, or else he will launch a people’s direct-action movement to remove these illegal signs.
However, Harjinder Singh Pahra, a Khalistani engaged in referendum activities, says that people like Goyat are trying to create confrontation in the community. “We are peacefully doing what we want to do. There is massive support coming for the referendum. No one will be forced to vote on September 18,” he said.
J.P. Pandher, a Punjabi journalist working for Omni TV says that the administration and the police can only act if there was a breach of peace from either side.
He agrees that Khalistanis cannot legally use public property to publicize the referendum. They can only use private properties to paste and fix posters and signboards after taking the written consent of the proprietors.
The SFJ had earlier conducted a “referendum” in some cities in the US and the UK. As expected, the results declared by it show the majority favoring the creation of Khalistan. The purpose of the referendum is to collect data of voters supporting the creation of Khalistan and present it to the United Nations seeking its intervention.