Jai Bharadwaj, Pallavi Jain, and Amit Sarwal
After threatening Manpreet Vohra (High Commissioner of India in Australia) and Dr Sushil Kumar (the Consulate General of India in Melbourne), Khalistani supporters gathered in abysmal numbers outside the Indian Consulate in Melbourne today as part of their 8 July protest of the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada.
In today’s protest on St Kilda Road, Jai Bharadwaj, the Editor of The Australia Today, was physically pushed, abused, and verbally intimidated by supporters of Khalistani extremist movement. In the video below you can see how the man in yellow shirt is being egged on by a woman to get nearer to Mr Bharadwaj after which Mr Bharadwaj has to call the police to intervene.
Another Khalistan supporter had earlier tried to get too close to Mr Bharadwaj in order to intimidate him as he was covering their propaganda protest.
WATCH Video: The Australia Today’s Live and Exclusive coverage of Khalistan propaganda protest from Indian Consulate in Melbourne
In the past, Khalistan supporters have also targeted and threatened The Australia Today team. Australian police and security officials are looking into this and working on those cases.
Earlier, posters proclaiming “Kill India” over an illustration of a pen piercing a rifle, and featuring photos of India’s top diplomats with a caption identifying them as the “killers” of Mr. Nijjar were widely circulated and posted.
The text read: “Faces of Shaheed Nijjar’s killers in Australia.”
Mr Nijjar was shot dead in the parking lot of the Surrey, British Columbia, gurdwara on June 18. As per reports, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) had accused Mr Nijjar of being a Khalistani terrorist.
Well-known Canadian journalist Terry Milewski tweeted: “Khalistanis plan worldwide rallies tomorrow in a bonkers bid to brand Indian diplomats as murderers. How bonkers? Well, India’s top diplomats in Australia are among the alleged “KILLERS” of “Shaheed” Hardeep Nijjar, shot June 18 in BC. Hey, it’s only 13,000 km away…and they’d have 6 other Indian diplomats to help them, all supposedly trecking across the globe to kill Nijjar, from S Francisco, Birmingham, Ottawa…There’s no rest for The Deadly Diplomats!”
According to intelligence sources, India has raised concerns over threats to its diplomats in the posters that are being circulated.
The Australia Today was given to understand that Indian Consulate in Melbourne has had two separate briefings with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and Australian Federal Police (AFP) officials.
An Indian official who does not want to be named told The Australia Today: “Indian Authorities are taking this very seriously and are in touch with relevant Australian officials.”
“We all should condemn this terror, Melbourne is the third best city to live in and here the democratic values and harmony of the community are being destroyed by few.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) spokesperson told The Australia Today: “The Australian Government takes seriously its obligations under the Vienna Convention to ensure the security of foreign missions and their staff in Australia.”
“Australia does not tolerate hate speech, violence, or threats of violence. Any threat to accredited officials residing in Australia will be investigated.”
Khalistan rallies on 8 July were also held in London, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Toronto. It is reported that using money and migration banned in India extremist organsiation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) is promoting this protest in Australia.
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