Sikhs vote for independent Khalistan in a referendum in the UK

Nov 1, 2021: Thousands of Sikhs across the UK took part in a referendum on Sunday for a free Sikh homeland Khalistan at the Queen Elizabeth Center near the British Parliament -on the same date that Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 after initiating Operation Blue Star to curb the Sikh movement.

The voting, organized by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), began at 9 a.m. and continued until 6 p.m., under the direct supervision and monitoring of a non-affiliated panel of democracy experts, the Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC). Thousands of voting participants answered the question: “Should Indian-administered Punjab be an independent country?”

Chartered buses from more than 100 gurdwaras took voters to the Queen Elizabeth Center, where long queues formed throughout the day as restless voters aimed to cast their ballots in the hall. More than 200 Sikhs volunteered for the day.

The SFJ is an international human rights advocacy group that spearheads the campaign for the right of Sikhs to self-determination, one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the United Nations Charter.

Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that India had long propagated that there were only a few dozen Sikhs behind the Khalistan movement but the participation of thousands of people in India showed the world that Khalistan has the support of millions of Sikhs around the world.

Paramjit Singh Pama, a British Sikh human rights activist who has been at the center of a dispute between India and Britain over his extradition, said thousands of Sikhs had turned out to cast their ballots in the referendum.

He said that after UK, the referendum would be held in other countries including USA, Canada, Australia and Punjab.

Organizers said that although it was an unofficial and non-binding referendum, the result would be used as a basis for the Sikh community to petition the United Nations  to request an independent homeland for the largest ethnic group in Punjab, the Sikhs.

One week before the referendum, the SFJ released a new map of India showing not only Punjab but also Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and several districts in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as part of Khalistan.

The new map shows that this area will be cut off from India and made the Sikh country “Khalistan”. In Rajasthan, the remote Bundi and Kota are also considered Khalistan. It has been claimed that these parts will also be cut off from India.

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