Indian government officials have raised concerns about the growth of Sikh separatism in Australia with the Australian government at the highest levels in response to the proliferation of Khalistani flags at an Indian event in Melbourne.
PM Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Australia for the Quad national leaders’ meeting later this month.
In recent weeks, Indian government officials approached Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Home Affairs Minister Claire O’Neil to express concern over the growing support for the Khalistan movement, particularly in Melbourne, following the large number of Khalistani supporters waving separatist flags at an event funded by the Australian government for the Indian community on November 19.
The officials reportedly told the two Australian ministers that this movement had a history of terrorism and violence, in much the same way they had conveyed the same message to Canada after it permitted Sikh separatists to hold a referendum for a separate homeland carved out of India. Sikhs affected by terrorism also migrated to anglophonic countries, including Australia, Canada, the US and the UK, from where they recruited impressionable youth from their communities.
Victorian Sikh Gurdwara Council organized the event of November 19 in Melbourne with the support of the state government.
Several individuals from terrorist groups banned by India, including Babbar Khalsa International, Khalistan Commando Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force, International Sikh Youth Federation, and Sikhs for Justice, have been harboured by ISI as part of terror attacks in Punjab. There is adequate evidence that ISI supported terror attacks in Punjab.