New Delhi is readying itself to host the G-20 an intergovernmental forum of 19 countries and the European Union (EU) on September 9 and 10 to address major issues related to the global economy.
Massive security arrangements have also been put in place, with 130,000 security officers/officials deployed. One clear threat to the summit is from extremist Khalistani radicals, who have been
actively vandalizing the Indian government, public property and issuing death threats to high-ranking officials in various Indian missions abroad.
On August 27, proKhalistani messages scribbled on five metro stations at various locations in Delhi.
Unidentified suspects wrote “Delhi Banega Khalistan” (Delhi will become Khalistan) and “Khalistan Zindabad” (Long Live Khalistan) on the walls of at least five Delhi Metro stations.
On March 19, 2023, an attack on the Indian High Commission in London was staged by a group of protesters, who pulled down the Indian tricolour flag flying atop the Indian High Commission, while waving separatist Khalistani flags.
Acting to disrupt India’s August 15 Independence Day celebrations, pro-Khalistan protesters also staged protests at the Indian Consulate in Vancouver, Canada. Some protesters even
set an Indian National Flag on fire outside the consulate.
Khalistani supporters also protested outside the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC. Even in Australia, Khalistani extremists staged protests by waving yellow Khalistani flags and
posters alongside chanting ‘Anti-India’ slogans at various venues, where Indian Independence Day celebrations were taking place.
Sikh diaspora outside India has continued to support the movement through financial support, propaganda, and political lobbying in the countries they reside.
The diaspora has used social media to rally support for its Khalistan cause, and referendums are frequently held to rally support for the movement. The online threats linked to the proKhalistan ‘Kill India’ campaign represent a major “escalation” compared to the earlier campaign for rallies at India’s missions in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.
This escalation, which coincides with India’s Presidency of the G-20 and major summit meetings in various cities across the country, poses a significant security threat. As Chair, India must insist that laws be implemented to prevent terrorist groups from operating with impunity on tech platforms,
especially social media, to spread radical messages. As the current G20 President, India can mount pressure on member nations to counter online campaigns that garner support for extremist agendas such as the one for a ‘Khalistan.’