Tuesday Nov 02, 2021
LONDON: Over 30,000 British Sikhs took part in Khalistan Referendum voting at the start of the campaign in London in a massive show of support for the Sikh cause of a separate homeland that has caused headache to the Indian government.
Speaking to Geo News, a day after the Khalistan Referendum was held at the Queen Elizabeth Centre near the UK Parliament, Sikhs For Justice’s Secretary-General Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the total number of people who voted for the referendum stood at 30,000 — counted by the independent experts hired for the voting.
The participation by Sikhs in such large numbers has defied the expectation of all as "we were expecting a huge turnout but the sheer passion and the numbers that came out have overwhelmed everyone," Pannun said.
He said the Sikh leadership across the world unanimously agreed to hold the referendum on October 31 to coincide with the day Indian premier Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 for ordering Operation Blue Star to curb the Sikh justice movement.
Pannun explained that the results of the London referendum would not be announced until results from other cities of the UK and Europe are not added.
He further added that in the next phase the referendum events will be held in three major UK cities with large Sikh populations and then in European countries and Canada where a large number of pro-Khalistan Sikhs reside.
Pannun explained: “Since the voting is being held in phases globally, the result of Khalistan Referendum will be declared by the Punjab Referendum Commission after the final phase of voting and that will be approximately in next six months.”
The secretary-general said the referendum took place under the supervision and monitoring of direct democracy experts Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC) and the independent observers had confirmed the number of total people who were eligible and cast their votes.
Thousands took part in the response to the question, “Should Indian-governed Punjab be an independent country?"
Pannun said the referendum has caused "a major embarrassment to India" when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being hoisted by PM Boris for COP26.
He said tens of thousands fought rain and heavy winds to vote in the first-ever global Khalistan Referendum and sent a strong message to the Indian establishment to end discrimination against Sikhs and prepare to give Sikhs their birthright of freedom.
Originally published in The News