The Khalistani separatists hung their flag around the Mahatma Gandhi statue in front of the Indian embassy in Washington on Saturday to show their support for farmers protesting against agricultural laws in India.
“Farmers and supporters of Khalistan have the same agenda and that is the independence of Punjab from the Indian occupation,” said Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, general counsel of Sikhs For Justice. Pannun was designated a terrorist by India in July.
There have been reports that the Khalistanis have tried to inject their separatist agenda into farmers’ protests to further their own cause and not to help the protesters. Earlier this month, Ludhiana Congress deputy Ravneet Singh Bittu warned about “Khalistani elements (who) have penetrated the ongoing protests.
Farmers are protesting new laws that seek to reform the agricultural sector and allow large corporations to bypass government-regulated purchasing markets. They fear that these reforms could take away the minimum support price (MSP) that the government guarantees them on their yields.
The Indian embassy issued a statement in this regard. “It strongly condemns this malicious act by hooligans posing as protesters against the universally respected icon of peace and justice,” the statement read.
The statement added that the embassy had also lodged a “strong protest” with US law enforcement agencies and taken it to the State Department and sought “early investigation and action against the culprits under applicable law.” .