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Homeweek-asiaPeople‘Watch your back’: Sikh diaspora fears for safety after killing of separatist

‘Watch your back’: Sikh diaspora fears for safety after killing of separatist

This Week in AsiaPeople

India-Canada killing fallout: Sikh diaspora fear for their safety as Khalistan gets ‘disproportionate’ attention

The killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar has stoked fears that Sikh communities, from the US to Britain and Australia, could face threats to their safetyObservers say it’s a minority of Sikhs who are actively advocating for Khalistan, and that the diplomatic row has amplified ‘the voice of a few’IndiaAmy SoodandAidan JonesPublished: 11:30am, 1 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Difficult economic conditions in Punjab and Hindu-majoritarian rhetoric under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government are feeding the Sikh nationalist cause among pockets of the diaspora whose politics, faith and identity are entwined around the idea of a Sikh homeland.

Khalistan, a vision for an independent Sikh nation in and around northern Punjab state, is an incendiary issue in India, where the movement is outlawed and considered a national-security threat by Modi’s government.

But it has been kindled for decades overseas, from Canada and Britain to Australia, by a minority of Sikh activists with links to Punjab.

The movement has resurfaced in recent months, becoming a hot-button diplomatic issue in the last fortnight over the murder in Canada of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, gunned down by two masked assailants outside a gurdwara – a Sikh temple – in Surrey, British Columbia.

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