Hindu Council lodges a formal complaint against Khalistani hate speech

By: Prakash Mehta, National President, Hindu Council of Australia.

Dear Hon Minister Mr. Paul Toole
Dy Premier and minister of Police

Members of the Hindu community have brought to the notice of the Hindu Council of Australia that a letter purportedly issued by the Australian Sikh Gurdwaras Council (a Gurudwara – Sikh temple) is being circulated on social media and other platforms. The copy is attached.

The communication is derogatory in nature and involves malicious and hateful propaganda and baseless allegations against the peace-loving Hindu community and the Hindu ancestry. Not only is the language filthy but outlandish claims are being made about Indian mythology considered sacred by Hindus. The Hindu community is deeply aggrieved by the communication which gives a significant blow to the unity and harmony in the Australian community.

There is a real potential for this letter to create tensions between two communities in Sydney and in Australia. We urge you to use your powers to remove it from all social media platforms.

Could we request you to investigate who are the culprits behind this hate-filled propaganda and to bring the full force of law against their incitement and spreading of hate?

The aircraft involved, VT-EFO, seen on 10 June 1985, less than two weeks before the bombing of Air India Flight 182

Air India Flight 182 was an Air India flight operating on the Montréal-London-Delhi-Bombay route. On 23 June 1985, a Boeing 747 operating on the route was blown up by a bomb mid-air off the coast of Ireland. A total of 329 people aboard were killed, [69] 268 Canadian citizens, 27 British citizens and 24 Indian citizens, including the flight crew. On the same day, an explosion due to a luggage bomb was linked to the terrorist operation and occurred at the Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan, intended for Air India Flight 301, killing two baggage handlers. The entire event was inter-continental in scope, killing 331 people in total and affected five countries on different continents: Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, and Ireland.

The main suspects in the bombing were members of a Sikh separatist group called the Babbar Khalsa, and other related groups who were at the time agitating for a separate Sikh state of Khalistan in Punjab, India. In September 2007, the Canadian Commission of Inquiry investigated reports, initially disclosed in the Indian investigative news magazine Tehelka,[70] that a hitherto unnamed person, Lakhbir Singh Rode, had masterminded the explosions. However, in conclusion two separate Canadian inquiries officially determined that the mastermind behind the terrorist operation was in fact the Canadian, Talwinder Singh Parmar.[71]

Several men were arrested and tried for the Air India bombing. Inderjit Singh Reyat, a Canadian national and member of the International Sikh Youth Federation who pleaded guilty in 2003 to manslaughter, would be the only person convicted in the case.[72][73] He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for assembling the bombs that exploded on board Air India Flight 182 and at Narita Airport.[74]