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Safe Haven for Terrorists: US Allows Another Pro-Khalistan 'Referendum' on Its Soil

© AP Photo / Mary AltafferKhalistan Supporters in New York (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Khalistan Supporters in New York (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) - Sputnik India, 1920, 31.03.2024
The so-called Khalistan referendum in California comes amid New Delhi's concerns over US interference in the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the corruption cases against Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
The US authorities have allowed pro-Khalistan extremists to hold another referendum on 'Khalistan' in Sacramento, California, on Sunday, despite repeated pleas from New Delhi, which views these activities as an attack on its sovereignty.

According to social media posts by supporters of the so-called Khalistan referendum, the unofficial and non-binding vote will take place at the State Capital Building in Sacramento.

In January this year, the US allowed Sikh separatists to hold the first-ever referendum on secession from the Indian state of Punjab on US soil.

New Delhi has previously stated that it finds it deeply objectionable to allow the so-called Khalistan referendum to take place in a 'friendly country'.
Until last year, so-called Khalistan referenda were held in Canada, the UK and Australia, with the US being the only country with a large Sikh diaspora that didn't allow the unofficial vote.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also sought greater coordination with US agencies in cracking down on the activities of pro-Khalistan terrorists and activists in the North American nation, including those who attacked the attacked the Indian Consulate in San Fransico on two separate occasions last year.
However, that changed in January this year, with a referendum being organised in California at the call of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a banned secessionist group whose general counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is a designated terrorist in India.

Last November, the US indicted an Indian national on charges of "murder for hire" against Pannun. The US indictment alleges that the Indian national was paid by an Indian official to carry out the alleged assassination.

Indian Community Urges US Authorities to Revoke Permission

There are reports that sections of the Indian community in California, including members of the Sikh community, have urged the local authorities to withdraw permission for the Khalistan referendum to be held, fearing that it could lead to tensions in the diaspora.
However, reports suggest that these calls have been in vain.
According to the Coalition for Sikhs, around 500,000 Sikhs live in the US, with many concentrated in the southern state of California.
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, the Department of Justice seal is seen in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department has released a new regulation spelling out detailed nationwide requirements for sex offender registration under a law Congress passed in 2006. The regulation released Monday stems from the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. It requires convicted sex offenders to register in the states in which they live, work or attend school.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.03.2024
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