Banned Sikh bodies, militants active abroad: Intel

NEW DELHI: Several Sikh radical outfits, banned terrorist organisations and militants had held demonstrations in several countries this month to mark the 31st anniversary of Operation Bluestar and repeated their demand for Khalistan, according to Indian intelligence agencies.

Shaurya K Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 18

Several Sikh radical outfits, banned terrorist organisations and militants had held demonstrations in several countries this month to mark the 31st anniversary of Operation Bluestar and repeated their demand for Khalistan, according to Indian intelligence agencies.

The countries where the demonstrations were held are the US, UK, Pakistan, France, Germany and Malaysia.

On June 1, several Sikhs held a demonstration outside the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, US, carrying Khalistan and black flags. Some of the speakers at the event were Jaswinder Singh Jhandi of the Sikh Youth of America and Jaswant Singh Hothi, president, American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

They allegedly criticised Operation Bluestar and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. They also extended support to Surat Singh Khalsa, who is currently on a hunger strike in India to demand the release of Sikh political prisoners.

Another speaker at the event, Punit Khalsa Kaur even demanded the formation of Khalistan.

Sikh student bodies and organisations had held a rally in California on June 7. “Pro-Khalistani outfits based in the US used this event as an opportunity to commemorate Operation Bluestar and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots,” said sources.

On June 7, the Federation of Sikh Organisations held a rally in London to commemorate Operation Bluestar. Some UK-based Sikh leaders at the event had spoken about the creation of Khalistan. Joga Singh of the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), an organisation banned by India, was one of those leading the rally.

Some British Members of Parliament had also attended the event at London, the sources said. On June 6, several Sikh leaders, including Manmohan Singh Khalsa of the Dal Khalsa International, had allegedly given a memorandum to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, urging him to change UK’s policy towards India.

In Germany, Sikh radical organisations such as Dal Khalsa International, Germany (DKI-G), Babbar Khalsa, Germany (BK-G), Shiromani Akali Dal, Amritsar, and Sikh Federation, Germany (SF-G), held a demonstration in front of the Consulate General of India at Frankfurt on June 6.

The speakers had appealed to the Sikh community to support the demand for Khalistan. Some of the speakers included Gurmeet Singh Khannian and Jatinder Bir Singh of the SF-G, Resham Singh Babbar, Satnam Singh Babbar, Kulwinder Singh Babbar alias Pabbian and Rajinder Singh Babbar of the BK-G, Sohan Singh Kang of the SAD (A) and Gurdeep Singh Pardesi of the DKI (G).

“There were about 10 persons from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, who were part of the demonstration. A young man from Kashmir named Irfan Wani had addressed the protesters and claimed that Kashmiris support the demand for Khalistan,” said the sources.

A similar demonstration was held at Trocadero, France, on June 7. Those who participated in the demonstration were Raghubir Singh Kohad of the International Sikh Youth Federation headed by Lakhbir Singh Rode, a nephew of Bhindranwale, Gurdial Singh of the United Sikhs and Satnam Singh Pataka, Basant Singh Panjitha of the All Babbar Khalsa International. The demonstration was headed by Chain Singh of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann Group).

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