A Vaisakhi Parade was organised in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, on April 22, in which Khalistan flags and posters of Khalistani sympathiser Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale were seen.
Vaisakhi marks the Punjabi New Year and harvest season.
According to reports, the parade travelled 124 Street to 75 Avenue, along 76 Avenue and then on 128 Street. “In our minds we’re preparing for around 700,000 people to attend, and that’s mostly because the international student population here has skyrocketed since 2019,” parade organiser Moninder Singh said on April 17.
However, in videos doing rounds on social media, only a few thousand people can be seen. Along with posters on Bhindrawale, posters of other khalistani sympathisers like Amrik Singh, Surinder Singh and Gurjit Singh were also seen in the parade.
On a post by Sikhbeard on Instagram in which people are seen with khalistani flags, one Instagram user with username bashikaur6390 writes, “these people are running their political agenda in the name of ‘Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan’ these people have not even respected ‘Guru’ and have place the flags of Khalistan instead of ‘Nishan Sahib’. They are also destroying the country in which they are living”.
Replying to Bashi Kaur, an Instagram user Pushpakdeep Singh writes, “Totally under the influence of right wing RSS terrorist. I think you being trapped by their agenda”.
Slamming the khalistani supporters, another Instagram user Raman Singh writes, “they furls khalistani flags outside India and don’t think about us, we don’t want Khalistan”.A Punjabi actor and model named Oshin Brar was also seen in the Vaisakhi parade in which hundreds of people were raising khalistani flags. She also posted the video of the same on her Snapchat account.
It is to be noted that Oshin Brar has acted in the film’ Mukhtiar Chadha” with Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh. She has also appeared in some songs by Ranjit Bawa and many others.
A stage show by the student alumni association of Panjab University Chandigarh Campus celebrating the parade by khalistani supporters was also seen.
On March 26, 2023, Sameer Kaushal, an Indian-origin journalist in Canada, was heckled by pro-Khalistan protesters in Surrey, British Columbia. Kaushal said he was in Surrey to cover the Indian High Commissioner’s visit when a pro-Khalistani group threatened and roughed him up.
“The Surrey RCMP [police] remained mute spectators to this whole affair, even as the protest turned violent. Instead of stopping them, the police kept asking me to leave for my own safety,” Sameer Kaushal, news director of Radio AM600, tweeted.
“They were raising slogans, using abusive words and derogatory remarks on the prime minister of India,” Sameer Kaushal said, adding that he was deliberately targeted by the pro-Khalistan protesters.
On March 28, 2023, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Canada was also vandalised and defaced with graffiti that expresses support for Khalistan and opposition to India.
The act of vandalism took place near Hamilton’s City Hall, located in the province of Ontario. The statue of MK Gandhi had been situated at that site since 2012.
Earlier on March 19, a group of Khalistan supporters demonstrated outside the Indian High Commission in the United Kingdom (UK), sloganeering with flags and posters of separatist leader and Waris Punjab De Chief Amritpal Singh. The posters, with Singh’s photo, said: Free Amritpal Singh.
Earlier in March 2023, The Indian Government told the UK administration that people involved in the acts of attack and vandalism against the Indian High Commission building in London should be deported.