Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised strong objection to “anti-India” activities by extremist elements in Canada, the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) organised a Khalistani referendum in Surrey, British Columbia.
Khalistani separatist and SFJ founder Gurpatwant Singh Pannun made a public appearance at the referendum and delivered an inciteful speech hinting at ‘balkanising’ India. He was escorted by a team of security guards.
The anti-India referendum was organised at the Guru Nanak Singh Gurudwara in Surrey. An approximate crowd of nearly 7,000 people turned up, against a predicted strength of 50,000 to 75,000.
The referendum was earlier scheduled to be held at a Canadian government school but the permission was revoked after an uproar.
The referendum was organised on Sunday, September 10, the same day Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau about India’s concerns about extremists promoting secessionism and inciting violence against Indian diplomats in Canada.