Wednesday July 24, 2024

Votes in Khalistan referendum cross 200,000 mark in two months

By Murtaza Ali Shah
January 03, 2022
Votes in Khalistan referendum cross 200,000 mark in two months

LONDON: With 20,000 votes in favour of Khalistan state cast by the British Sikh community at four venues on the eve of New Year, the overall figure of votes cast in the Khalistan Referendum crossed the 200,000 mark.

As the British Sikh community rounded the year 2021 by holding Khalistan Referendum, voting was held at Gurdwaras Singh Sabha in Hounslow, Gurdwaras Singh Sabha in Slough, Guru Nanak Gurdwaras in Wednesfield and Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick.

As many as 20,000 people voted at four venues on Dec 31, 2021, said Sikhs For Justice, Organisers of the Khalistan referendum. The voting had started exactly 60 days ago on Oct 31 last year at the Queen Elizabeth Hall outside the Palace of Westminster with a regular interval in more than 10 cities outside of London.

During the period, more than 200,000 Sikhs took part in the Khalistan referendum voting, which had attracted widespread publicity and annoyed India so much that Indian foreign secretary raised the issue of voting with British Premier Boris Johnson and the foreign minister.

Participation of a 95-year-old Sikh woman and her unflinching resolve was the highlight of the Dec 31 voting. The woman said that it had been her wish all her life to see an independent Khalistan state, adding, “I don’t know how long I will live but my wish has come true through participation in the Khalistan referendum. I have done so in honour of those Sikhs martyrs who laid down their lives for the noble cause of Khalistan. The Indian state has killed some of the brightest Sikh youth to suppress us but we will never surrender and this is my message to our new generation to keep fighting and keep raising voice for Khalistan.”

According to Sikhs For Justice General Counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Sikhs in Britain have spoken clearly through voting that they want liberation of Punjab from Indian occupation. Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that the Indian government had gone out of its way to target the Sikh leaders and especially those associated with the Khalistan referendum and Khalistan movement but vindictive actions would fail. “India has tried to portray us as terrorists but the whole world witnesses that we are peaceful and democratic people who believe in ballots, not bullets, and that’s what frightens India,” said Punnun.

Since 2019, India has banned Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) as an unlawful entity under the draconian colonial era law "Unlawful Activities Prevention Act" (UAPA) and has declared its General Counsel, a US-based lawyer, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, as a "terrorist".

Kickstarted from London on October 31, SFJ’s innovative Khalistan referendum sought votes from the Sikh diaspora on the question of the secession of Punjab and other Sikh majority areas from India. On the first day of voting, held next to the British Parliament on the day of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, more than 30,000 Sikhs turned out to vote.