Khalistani separatists draped their flag around the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington on Saturday(ANI (screengrab))
Khalistani separatists draped their flag around the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington on Saturday(ANI (screengrab))

Khalistanis target Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Washington

“Farmers and Khalistan supporters have the same agenda and that is independence of Punjab from Indian occupation,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, general counsel to Sikhs For Justice. Pannun was designated a terrorist by India in July.
By HT Correspondent | Edited by Prashasti Singh | Hindustan Times, Washington
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 08:56 AM IST

Khalistani separatists draped their flag around the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Indian Embassy in Washington on Saturday to show their support for the farmers protesting against the farm laws in India.

“Farmers and Khalistan supporters have the same agenda and that is independence of Punjab from Indian occupation,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, general counsel to Sikhs For Justice. Pannun was designated a terrorist by India in July.

There have been reports that Khalistanis have tried to inject their separatist agenda into the farmers’ protests to further their own cause, and not to help the protesters. Earlier this month, Congress MP from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu raised alarm over “Khalistani elements (who) have penetrated the ongoing protests”.

Farmers are protesting new laws that seek to reform the farm sector and allow large corporation to bypass government-regulated procurement markets. They fear these reforms could take away the minimum support price (MSP) guaranteed to them by the government on their yields.

The Indian embassy issued a statement in this regard. “Strongly condemns this mischievous act by hooligans masquerading as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice,” the statement read.

The statement added that the embassy had also lodged a “strong protest” with US law enforcement agencies and taken it up with the State Department and has sought an “early investigation and action against the culprits under the applicable law”.

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