A small group of Sikh separatist, pro-Khalistan, has demonstrated protest near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the Indian embassy in the United States on the Republic Day, January 26, a move which was largely slammed by the local Sikh community. Ambassador Harsh Shringla unfurled the Tricolour outside the embassy.
According to The Tribune news reports, the rally was attended by around 15-20 people, who were outnumbered by Indian-American waving flags. The protest was organized by New York-based Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), where the protesters raised “Khalistan zindabad” slogans and further tried to burn the Indian Flag in the presence of reporters from local Pakistan’s media.
However, the pro-Khalistan were outnumbered by Indian-American raising “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” slogans along with the Indian flags in their hands.
Meanwhile, the social media company has suspended the official account of the SFJ.
On Saturday, the twitter page of ‘@SikhsforJustice’ said, “Account suspended.” Twitter further didn’t give any reasons for the move except for providing its rules and links. “Twitter suspends accounts which violates the Twitter Rules.”
“This demonstrates the hollow claim of SFJ that they enjoy wide support. They are a fringe group backed by Pakistan clearly bringing out the nefarious design of Pakistan to stir up trouble. In fact, most of the demonstrators were Pakistanis,” said sources.
Officials also pointed out SJF’s claim on its website stating that Indian Flags burning outside the embassy in Washington was “completely false” as evident by available videos and photos. Source added, “No such thing took place, the claim is intended to cover up for their flop show.”
In a joint statement, the chairman and president of the Sikhs of America Jesse Singh said, “Such theatrical protests like flag burning are detrimental to the peace-loving and harmony-enhancing Sikh community everywhere.”
Indian American leader from Virginia said, “I am disturbed and concerned that a chosen few can build a narrative about the Sikh community in the USA which will be viewed by the whole world.”
He added, “I will not stand for these forces to develop a misguided narrative with US leadership and the public, besides polarizing the already sensitivities towards minorities in India.”
In an official statement, American Hindu Coalition (AHC) also expressed their deep dismay over the SJF’s attempt to burn the Indian Flag. The AHC president who himself has a Sikh inheritance Harsh Sethi said, “The intent of flag burning is also an immense affront to the largest democracy on the earth and causing huge grief to the American Hindus.”
Ravi Batra, an Indian-American attorney from New York, said, “What SFJ, an American-born and accredited entity is seeking to do, however, is to burn the flag of another nation — and here is the critical part — as part of a campaign, allegedly, as an unregistered foreign agent engaging in terrorist activities in India.”