Pak-backed, pro-Khalistan rally fizzles out in Washington, Indian supporters stage counter-rally in full force

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 27, 2019, 10:34 AM(IST)

Indian supporters, who had gathered in large numbers, chanted patriotic slogans and waved the national flag. Photograph:( WION )

Story highlights

Pro-Khalistan group 'Sikhs for Justice' had planned to burn the Indian flag in Washington on January 26 - the day marked as India's Republic Day.

A pro-Khalistani rally organised by Pakistan-backed SFJ (Sikhs For Justice) fizzled out in Washington on Saturday as Indians supporters staged a major counter-rally. 

Eyewitnesses from Washington told WION that only 15 to 20 people from the SFJ had gathered and were outnumbered by a large number of Indians.

Indian supporters, who had gathered in large numbers, chanted patriotic slogans and waved the national flag. 

Eyewitnesses told WION that no Indian flag was burnt and the pictures uploaded on SFJ's website were to cover up the flop show.

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The Twitter accounts of 'Sikhs for Justice' and 'SFJ Lawyer' have been suspended for violating Twitter rules.

'Sikhs for Justice' had planned to burn the Indian flag on Indian Republic Day in Washington on Saturday. Some of the most prominent Sikhs and Hindu organisations in the United States condemned SFJ's plan.

The Sikhs of America Inc. had "condemn and denounced" in the "strongest terms the planned burning of the Indian flag" on the occasion of the Republic Day. In a release, they said, "Sikhs reside and have businesses not only all over India but also boast a global presence. Such theatrical protests like flag-burning are detrimental to the peace-loving and harmony-enhancing Sikh community".

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It added, "Sikhs have achieved a lot recently through dialogue with the Indian government, solving some of the key issues that were faced by the Sikhs for decades."

The American Hindu Coalition (AHC) also expressed "deep dismay" at the statements made by 'Sikhs for Justice'. 

The AHC in a release said, "Intent of flag-burning is an immense affront to the largest democracy on the earth" and causes "huge grief to the American Hindus". It added, "Entire AHC membership urges "Sikhs for Justice to stop this act."

Meanwhile, India's new ambassador to United states Harsh Shringla unfurled the national flag at the Indian mission in Washington on Saturday. Indian community was present in full force at the ceremony.

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