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Vocal Khalistani minority trying to exploit Gurpurab gatherings in Canada, US, Australia

Extremist elements are trying to exploit the “ready-made” gatherings which otherwise they will not be able to attract.

CHANDIGARH:  A vocal minority of radical Sikhs living abroad who support the idea of Khalistan are trying to use the ongoing birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev in various gurdwaras to spread their separatist ideas as a large number of devotees throng Gurdwaras for prayers.

These extremist elements are trying to exploit the “ready-made” gatherings which otherwise they will not be able to attract, according to sources.

A recent case in point is that of the Gurdwara Sahib in Yuba City USA. Life-size posters of extremist leaders, including the newly baptised Amritpal Singh, the president of Wari Punjab De, besides late Deep Sidhu, late Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, Jagtar Hawara, Kanishka mid-air blast accused Parmar, late Harjinder Singh Pahra and hordes of others, are displayed in the compound of the Sikh temple.

Large-sized LEDs to broadcast fiery anti-India speeches calling upon the Sikhs, especially the youths to join the struggle for Khalistan and contribute generously, have been put up. A commentator, instead of talking about Guru Nanak’s Gurbani, reminds the ‘Sangat’ about the 1984 massacre of Sikhs, giving exaggerated figures of those killed.

The Khalistanis, active in Toronto, Vancouver, London, Melbourne, and Sydney, also use the Gurpurabs to sell their militant ideology. In fact, the management of many of these shrines, over a period of time, has passed into the hands of Khalistanis as a majority of peace-loving Sikhs prefer to remain silent in order to avoid violence. There have been umpteen incidents where the radicals have attacked those opposing them.

In Australia’s Craigieburn city Gurdwara, one of the largest in the country, the Khalistanis, during the Gurpurab celebrations, took out a car rally. Blaring music was played, calling upon the Sikhs to eliminate (Sodha) those opposed to Khalistan. There are over 50 Gurdwaras in Australia.

In Sydney’s Hryns Harris Park pro-India youths, mostly students, clashed with the separatists, who carried Khalistan flags in a car rally.

Similarly, in Canada’s Ontario state the activities of Khalistanis were opposed by India supporters. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, was asked to order removal of Khalistani banners and posters fixed on government property.

In Pakistan, which houses many historical Sikh shrines, including Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the first Guru, Sikh militants holed up there become active on Gurpurabs to motivate visiting ‘Sangat’ to rise against Hindu India.

Pak-born Gopal Singh Chawla, self-proclaimed president of Punjab Sikh Sangat, is a regular mischief-monger who mingles with visitors and tries to especially get photographed with the Jathedars holding charge of 5 Takhts of the Sikhs.

During a recent visit to Panja Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan, Giani Harpreet Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht, was photographed with hijacker Ravinder Singh Pinka, creating a controversy.

The SGPC later clarified that the Jathedar belonged to the entire community and anybody could meet him. “He may even not be knowing about the antecedents of hijacker Pinka. In his innocence, he might have allowed himself to be photographed,” explained an SGPC official.

Information and videos about the activities of Khalistanis during the ongoing Gurpurab celebrations at Nanakana Sahib are yet to come in.