On March 16, 2023, the Indian Honorary Consulate in Brisbane was briefly shut down after the supporters of the Khalistan movement prevented entry.
The main entity involved is a pro-Khalistani group called “Sikhs for Justice.”
The same group was involved in placing their flag on the same building on February 24, 2023. It was later removed by the police.
The Pro-Khalistani Groups and their supporters have vandalised temples in Melbourne with offensive graffiti in recent weeks, leading to the incident. The assailants used a Brisbane-based Sikh Shrine Bus to stir up unrest.
This led to the deployment of a heavy police presence in the vicinity.
After this incident, there was a meeting between the Police, community leaders and Indian Australian representatives. The Police and law enforcement agencies reassured them of law-and-order commitment.
The Honorary Consulate was blocked recently following the Australian PM Antony Albanese’s assurance to control and curb anti-India elements.
In addition, no attacks on religious institutions and buildings will be tolerated.
On March 10, 2023, PM Modi expressed regret over the regular reports of temple attacks from Australia during his talk with Albanese.
The Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra quoted PM Albanese assuring PM Modi of his government’s understanding of Indian concerns and commitment to take necessary measures for peace in their society.
Sarah Gates, from Hindu Human Rights, claimed that slogans were used to target Hindus as supremacists along with “Khalistan Zindabad” slogans.
The Indian Diaspora is Australia’s second-largest immigrant community.
Earlier, on February 21, 2023, in a disturbing development, Khalistan supporters attacked the Indian Consulate in Brisbane, Australia.
As reported by The Australia Today, the Honorary Consulate of India located on Swann Road in the Taringa suburb of Brisbane in Australia’s Queensland was targeted by Khalistan supporters on the night of February 21.
Honorary Consul of India in Brisbane Archana Singh found a Khalistan flag attached to the office when she arrived on February 22.
Archana Singh immediately notified the Queensland Police, which confiscated the flag and ensured that the Indian Consul was not under any immediate threat.
Archana Singh told The Australia Today that they have strong faith in police authority and the police have taken the area under surveillance to keep them safe.
“The whole Indian Australian community is working together so that what happened in Melbourne is not repeated,” added Consul Archana Singh.
The Australia Today reported that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his deputy Minister V Muraleedharan’s visit to Sydney and Melbourne had rattled the USA and Canada-based Khalistani propagators.
However, on the same day, Khalistan supporters vandalised two Hindu Temples while celebrating their religious festivities of Mahashivratri.
Earlier in January, Khalistan sympathisers vandalised the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in the Carrum Downs suburb of Melbourne by Khalistan supporters on the occasion of three days long “Thai Pongal” festival.
A video was circulated by Khalistan supporters in which they could be heard threatening volunteers of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple on February 18 morning.
The temple was threatened to raise Khalistan slogans before starting the havan. “If not, we wil raise the Khalistan flag in your temple,” the threat call said.
M Sudhakaran Prakash, a devotee of Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple, who came to Australia as a refugee forty years back, told The Australia today, “My parents came to Australia to give us a life without fear of religious persecution however now the Khalistani supporters are targeting one of the most peaceful communities.”
Hindu Council of Australia’s Victoria chapter President Makrand Bhagwat told The Australia Today, “I can’t tell you how upset I am for witnessing Hindu temples being threatened with Khalistan propaganda.”
“Targeting our temples is deplorable and should not be tolerated by the wider community, he added.
Indian High Commission in Canberra has provided the following statement to The Australia Today on these developments.
“High Commission of India has taken up the issue with relevant Australian authority for necessary action.”
Notably, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will be in New Delhi this week to discuss defence and security collaboration.