MELBOURNE, Australia: An ethnic violence erupted in Australia’s Southeastern City of Melbourne between Sikh separatists and Hindu nationalists on Sunday as the former arrived at the Federation Square to vote for Khalistan Referendum, aimed at seeking a consensus among Sikhs to establish a separate homeland in India called “Khalistan”.
Reportedly, the brawl took place outside the Shaheed Satwant Singh-Shaheed Kehar Singh Khalistan Referendum Voting Centre.
Thousands of Sikh separatists had arrived at the Voting Centre. However, in the meantime, a group of Hindu nationalists with Indian flags in hands and raising anti-Khalistan and Sikhs slogans reached to disrupt the voting process.
The media reported citing a witness that “The group started using abusive language and then the Sikhs repulsed the attack.”
Police said that about 100 people were involved in the brawl, resulting in multiple injuries from both sides. Police also apprehended two men age 34 and 39 from the scene.
Earlier, the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) had announced that voting for the Australian Chapter Khalistan Independence Referendum would be held at the Federation Square in Melbourne on January 29.
Talking to the Australian media, Ravi Inder Singh, a representative of the Miri Piri Gurudwara in Melbourne, said that the voting exercise would be a significant step towards self-determination for millions of Sikhs around the world.
In Australia, some 209,000 Sikhs live making them the fifth largest religious group in the Country.