Are Australian journalists in the gunsights of a new generation of Khalistani extremists?

The video incites hate against Australian Hindus and ends with the Founder of SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannu making the gesture of a gun.

‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ), the Khalistani outfit deemed a terrorist organisation by India, has threatened The Australia Today team. Founder of SFJ, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, splashed the pictures and names of the Editors of The Australia Today, Jitarth Jai Bharadwaj, Dr Amit Sarwal and Pallavi Jain in his latest propaganda video.

The video incites hate against India and Hindus and ends with Mr Pannu making the gesture of a gun.

This video was released soon after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese assured his Indian counterpart PM Narendra Modi that attacks on Hindu temples will not be tolerated and the attackers will meet the full force of the law during his recent India visit.

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Earlier both Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’ Farrell had said that Australia respects India’s sovereignty and that the Khalistan issue has no status in Australia.

Khalistan supporters also released a poster in Brisbane with the names and pictures of The Australia Today Editors along with that of the Indian High Commissioner Manpreet Vohra and Honorary Consul Archana Singh.

Khalistan blockade at Indian Consulate, Brisbane; Image Source: The Australia Today
Khalistan blockade at Indian Consulate, Brisbane; Image Source: The Australia Today

While Khaiistan terrorism was brought to an end by India three decades ago, some elements of this terrorist movement continued to operate outside India with the help of Pakistan.

In Canada, Khalistani extremists are known to violently attack people who oppose their ideology. Ujjal Dossanjh, the first Indo-Canadian Premier (He became Premier of British Columbia in 2000) and a Sikh himself, was attacked and viciously beaten for his opposition to Khalistani extremism in 1985 in the parking lot of his office in Vancouver.

He was targeted again in 1999, while he was a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in Canada when his constituency office was attacked. Mr Dossanjh tweeted in 2018: “Indian Sikhs have a country: They call it India. Punjab has been India for untold centuries until it was cut into two to make Pakistan.”

In July 2022, a controversial Sikh leader in Canada Ripudaman Singh Malik (a former terror suspect who later rejected the Khalistan movement) was murdered. While the local authorities, it appears, have so far not conclusively figured out a motive behind this targetted killing, Indian intelligence officials indicated that this could be a planned murder by anti-India forces supported by Pakistan’s ISI.

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More recently a radio presenter in Auckland, Harnek Singh (also a Sikh), was viciously attacked and seriously injured in December 2020. While sentencing Jaspal Singh who pleaded guilty for attempted murder in this case, NZHerald.co.nz reported that Justice Veening agreed the impetus for the attack appeared to be religious extremism or political disagreement.

The Australia Today also spoke with Canadian journalist Terry Milewski who has been covering this issue in Canada for the past 40 years. He is the author of the book ‘Blood for blood: Fifty years of the global Khalistan project’ and the report “Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan

Amidst death threats and cyber bullying, The Australia Today has been at the forefront of covering the growing Khalistani menace in Australia. The authorities have been informed about these threats but so far no action has been taken regarding any complaint.

A Timeline of our coverage regarding the Khalistan menace in Australia

February 2021 – Peaceful ‘Tiranga Rally’ stopped and diverted twice in Sydney after fears of alleged “Khalistani mob” attack

September 2021 – American think tank calls for urgent attention on Pakistan supported Khalistan movement

June 2022 – Australian Defence Force officers’ participation alongside Khalistani separatists in Griffith Sikh Games leaves Indian Australians dismayed

July 2022 – Impact: India raises concerns with Australia over ADF officers attending event alongside Khalistan supporters

November 2022 – Victorian government-funded Sikh festival swamped by Khalistan propaganda

December 2022Australia activates security apparatus after India warns of growing Khalistani menace

January 2023 – Khalistan car rally fails to garner Sikh community support but successfully terrorises Indian-Australians

January 2023 – Melbourne Hindu temple attacked and vandalised by Khalistan supporters

January 2023 – Second Hindu Temple in Melbourne vandalised by Khalistan supporters in desperation

January 2023 – Third Temple vandalised in Australia with Hindu hate graffiti by Khalistan supporters

January 2023 – Australian security agencies to crack down on illegal migrants at Federation Square Khalistan propaganda meet

February 2023 – Extremists intimidate Hindu Society of Queensland’s Gayatri Mandir: Raise ‘Khalistan Zindabad’ slogans or…

February 2023 – Indian Consulate in Brisbane targeted by Khalistan goons beside two Temples threatened in Sydney and Melbourne

March 2023 – Shree Laxmi Narayan Temple vandalised by Khalistan supporters in Brisbane

March 2023 – As PM Albanese leaves for India, Perth’s Shree Swaminarayan Temple threatened by Khalistan supporters

March 2023 – Brisbane’s Indian Consulate forced to close down by Khalistan supporters as Police watched on

March 2023 – Indian PM Modi raises Hindu Temple vandalism concerns with PM Albanese

March 2023 – PM Albanese warns attacks on Hindu Temples have ‘no place in Australia’ 

So far no arrests have been made anywhere despite seven Hindu temples being targetted across Australia.

There have been no arrests yet of Melbourne’s Federation Square attackers even though the faces of the perpetrators are on video.

The Indian Consulate in Brisbane has been targeted twice in two months and yet no one has been arrested so far.

Khalistani terrorists are responsible for one of the deadliest terror attacks in aviation history before 9/11. On 23rd June 1985, Khalistani terrorists bombed Air India flight 182 which was flying from Montreal to Mumbai via London and New Delhi killing all 329 people onboard including Canadian, British and Indian citizens.

Countries like the US and Canada have deemed Khalistani separatist groups like the Babbar Khalsa International and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) as terrorist organisations.

In recent years there have been reports of violent intra-Sikh fightings among members of Gurudwaras in countries like Canada and Australia over alleged ‘power struggles’.

The Khalistan issue is not just a threat to Indian-Australians but to all Australians. One will have to wait and watch whether PM Albanese’s words translate to concrete action on the ground.