Melbourne’s Indian Australian community is shocked to see posters and billboards displaying pictures of terrorist ‘Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale’ while commuting to work on Wednesday morning.
The Australia Today understands that a lot of community members have called Victoria police and local council authorities to inform them of these billboards glorifying terrorism and terrorist.
Anand Pal was driving to reach an important office conference near Melbourne Airport when he saw this billboard near Sunshine Hospital.
Mr. Pal told The Australia Today, “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Bhindranwale’s picture in full displays from the highway.”
“This terrorist was responsible for killing two of my uncles in the Indian state of Punjab in the name of Khalistan separatist movement,”said Mr Pal.
“I was so distressed seeing that banner of “terrorist Bhindranwale’ that I had to go back home after calling sick at work and could not attend the conference.”
Another member of Melbourne’s Indian Australian community who does not want to be identified (Whom we will call Sunil) told The Australia Today that an email has been sent to the billboard company.
Mr. Sunil told The Australia Today, “Displaying such advertising is unbecoming and also gives a platform to extremist views.”
Sunil says, he has seen bumper stickers on many cars parked around the Indian stores and restaurants owned by Khalistan supporters in Melbourne displaying “I Love Bhindranwale and Khalistan Zindabad.”
“Unfortunately the bumper stickers and the omnipresent posters of slain terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale are signs of a proxy battle brought halfway around the world despite the end of terrorism in the north Indian state of Punjab,”said Mr Sunil.
Law enforcement officials in Australia are caught off guard by a sudden, puzzling series of protests, car rallies, beatings and terror tactics arising out of the formerly secluded, law-abiding, and industrious Sikh communities on this continent.
A few months back The Australia Today reported how Khalistan supporters attacked Hindu Leader Yogesh Khattar’s business in Sydney.
Senior Australian officials are concerned that the troubles will increase. They viewed with concern the rekindling of hostilities in India last year, fearing that a clampdown by the Indian government there would mean more such activities in Australia.
“As things get harder in the Punjab for extremists,” said a diplomat in Canberra, “our problems grow.”
Authorities believe that overseas actors in Canada, the UK, and the USA have an especially strong effect on many young Sikhs in Australia. Virtually overnight, they shed their western dress and lifestyle for the traditional beards, turbans, daggers, and bracelets of their religion and joined militant political movements.
Sukhbir Singh (name changed on request) is a prominent leader in Melbourne’s Sikh community. He is a moderate Sikh who has spoken out against the radicals.
He told The Australia Today, “The old leadership of the Sikh community has been virtually unseated by extremists who have taken over most of the temples, and their ample treasuries, with violence and/or intimidation.”
The moderate committee members and worshipers at the Craigieburn Gurudwara had city police officers posted in front of the building to prevent a radical takeover.
Officials have told The Australia Today group is being closely watched by authorities.
The Sikh communities in Australia, largely concentrated in the Melbourne and Sydney areas, enjoy greater political influence than those in the other states, which are scattered across cities on both coasts.
Australia provides state funding for Sikh Gurudwaras and their activities, as for other ethnic communities.