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Tuesday April 23, 2024

Over 200,000 American Sikhs vote in Khalistan referendum in California

Nearly 20,000 Sikh men and women queued to cast their votes

By Murtaza Ali Shah
April 03, 2024
American Sikhs participate in the second phase of the Khalistan Referendum voting. — APP/File
American Sikhs participate in the second phase of the Khalistan Referendum voting. — APP/File

LONDON/SACRAMENTO: Over 60,000 American-Sikhs took part in Khalistan Referendum second phase voting on Sunday in a historic event organized by secessionist group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) at the California State Capitol in Sacramento under the protection of US snipers & police.

In the first phase, over 127,000 American Sikhs had voted for Khalistan Referendum for the first time on American soil on 28th January just weeks after the US government announced it had prevented the Indian state from assassinating on the US soil the prominent pro-Khalistan leader and India’s most wanted man, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Several thousand Sikhs were unable to cast their votes in the first phase. The March 31 voting was organised by the SFJ to accommodate those Sikhs who were unable to vote at the end of the first voting phase, overseen by the independent Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC).

Nearly 20,000 Sikh men and women queued to cast their votes. The voting was held months after Khalistan referendum’s Canada lead Hardeep Singh Nijjar was killed by the Indian agents inside Canada’s biggest Gurdwara and the US secret services foiled a plot by the Indian govt to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is leading the worldwide Khalistan Referendum campaign.

The voting took place on Sunday 31st March but the grand activity started two days earlier with Akhand Path Sahib to honour and declare Sikh religious head Jathedar Gurdev Singh Kaunke, who was extra-judicially killed by the Indian Government, as “Quami Shaheed” (martyr of Sikh nation). The referendum voting centre is also named after and dedicated to Shaheed Jathedar Kaunke.

Gurdev Singh Kaunke was unanimously declared as head of Sri Akal Takht Sahib in 1986 by the grand assembly of Sikh people (Sarbat Khalsa). He was extra-judicially killed by Indian Police on January 01, 1993 for his active role in leading the Sikh people’s movement for their religious and political rights.

Recently, in December 2023, Punjab Human Rights Commission acknowledged that Jathedar Kaunke was extra-judicially killed by the Indian Security officials.

The Punjab referendum commission announced a new date for the Khalistan referendum, which is scheduled to take place on July 28th, 2024 in Calgary, Canada.