Referendum 2020: 'ISI funded' Pro-Khalistan rally, says SAD leader (File Photo)
In an anti-Khalistan movement, Indian-origin people, living in the United Kingdom, on Sunday took to streets and celebrated India's Independence Day to protest against Referendum 2020 in London. The event was planned to counter a pro-Khalistan rally at London’s Trafalgar Square on Sunday.
‘Referendum 2020’, the pro-Khalistan campaign, is a desperate attempt to liberate Punjab, which is currently a part of India. Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a Punjab based Sikh group in UK has been instigating people for a 'London Declaration', which seeks the Independence of Punjab from India with an aim to re-establish it as a nation state.
‘Punjab Referendum 2020’, however, has witnessed a massive failure on Sunday as pro-India groups took over the rally at the iconic Trafalgar Square, London.
Meanwhile, reacting to such fringe activities, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral termed the 'Referendum 2020' campaign an attempt by Pakistan’s ISI to "foment trouble in Punjab".
"Pakistan and ISI have been trying hard for a long time to create problems in Punjab. They failed in Kashmir and want to move the stage to Punjab," Gujral said.
"Very miniscule Sikh population settled abroad is participating in this. No Sikh in India has sympathy for this as Sikhs are loyal Indians. They've made more sacrifices for India than any other community," he added.
It's an attempt by ISI to foment trouble in Punjab. It is financed by ISI. Pak&ISI have been trying hard for a long time to create problems in Punjab. They failed in Kashmir&want to move the stage to Punjab: N Gujral, Shiromani Akali Dal on Referendum 2020 (pro Khalistan groups) pic.twitter.com/XklnRjmehN— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2018
On August 10, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also lashed out at the pro-Khalistan group and directed the Punjab Police to deal with any attempts to revive terrorism with a “strict hand.”
"If these elements think they can come and disturb the peace in my country and my state, they are mistaken," Singh told PTI.
In recent past, India has issued a demarche to Britain in connection to 'Referendum 2020', in response to which the British High Commission said, there is no harm if a group of people is protesting on an issue until they are not violating the law and order in the country.
"Should a protest contravene the law, the police have powers to deal with activities that spread hate or deliberately raise tensions through violence or public disorder," the Commission added.