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Over 145,000 vote for Khalistan Referendum in San Francisco

Pro-Khalistan leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun issues open challenge to India’s territorial integrity

SAN FRANCISCO: More than 145,000 American Sikhs voted for the Khalistan Referendum for the first time on American soil — just weeks after the US government announced it had prevented the Indian state from assassinating on the US soil the prominent pro-Khalistan leader and India’s most wanted man, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

In a huge turnout, Sikhs of all ages formed orderly queues from early morning to cast their vote for the creation of Khalistan. The independent Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC) announced that 145,000 Sikhs were able to cast their votes while around 30000 remained in queues and unable to vote due to shortage of time.

PRC member Paul Jacobs announced the next phase of the Khalistan Referendum will take place in Sacramento, CA, on March 31 to accommodate those who were unable to cast their vote.

The United States government had permitted the pro-Khalistan secessionist group Sikh For Justice (SFJ) to conduct a Khalistan Freedom Referendum under the First Amendment Act on its soil, despite Indian objections.

Diplomatic relations between India and America have hit a low after the US State Department openly accused India of trying to kill its citizen Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the founder and leader of Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and Khalistan Referendum who arrived at the voting centre amid heavy security, on the US soil in an open violation of the sovereignty of the United States of America. The voting took place while India was calling on the US to arrest Khalistani Sikhs who had attacked the Indian Consulate in San Francisco a few weeks ago.

After the voting was closed, Pannun addressed thousands of Sikhs and announced that the campaign against India would accelerate after confirmation by the Canadian and the US governments that India was planning to kill Sikhs who asked for their right of self-determination for a separate Sikh homeland.

Pannun said the spirit of Sikh martyrs was alive and will continue to inspire millions of Sikhs to fight India and Sikhs receiving threats from India were not scared.

The Sikh leader said: “We will break India’s back. Kill India politically, kill Modi’s politics and destroy India economically is our slogan. We will campaign for the shutdown of Bombay Stock Exchange. Millions of Sikhs now live out of India because they have fled Indian genocide of Sikhs. India killed more than 100,000 Sikh men and women in a genocidal operation just a few years back. Its genocidal policies are continuing. We are standing up against India’s genocide through democratic means.”

He said millions of Sikhs want freedom from India and there is no choice but to fight Indian state terrorism. He said India can try to kill as many Sikhs as it wants but the demand for Khalistan cannot be subdued.

Sikhs for Justice co-founder Dr Bakhshish Singh Sandhu said the turnout was brilliant. “We feel good about it that people in thousands and droves have come here to vote for a Khalistan referendum to liberate Punjab from Indian occupation. We are gathering a maximum number of votes possible, and then move to have a binding referendum organized by the United Nations as soon as 2025."

Waving bright yellow-and-blue flags, thousands of Sikhs arrived in San Francisco in cars, buses and trains Sunday to vote for a new country of their own.

Around 250,000 Sikhs live in California, mainly in the Central Valley or the Bay Area. The Jan 28 ballot in San Francisco followed votes in several cities of the UK including London, Geneva, Rome, several cities of Canada and Australia where Sikhs live in large numbers. The American Phase of the Khalistan Referendum took place at Civic Center Plaza, owned and operated by the City of San Francisco.

A panel of non-aligned experts overseeing the referendum on the question "Should Indian Governed Punjab Be An Independent Country?" had announced the "Voter Eligibility" for people living in Indian Governed Punjab during a joint press conference in San Francisco.

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