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Sikh groups operating from western countries trying to revive Khalistan movement
Pro-Khalistan separatists in the west are openly running an anti-India campaign. Though the western world is aware of their activities, it chooses to ignore them. Canada, the U.K., the U.S., and Australia are among several countries where Khalistani separatists are active. The new generation of separatists, who are members of the groups like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), Khalistan Commando Force (KCF) and International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), have moved beyond fund raising and slogan shouting to violent activities.

On September 30, 2012 one such group tried to assassinate Lt. General retired Kuldeep Singh Brar who led the operation Blue Star to flush out the Sikh terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar in 1984. 78-year-old Brar, who was earlier receiving hate mails and threats, was stabbed near a hotel in central London during a private visit.

Dr. Surinder Kler Shukla, Professor, Political Science, Punjab University said, “You find these kinds of hate mails and onslaught on person of a calibre of Lt. Gen. Brar as an incident which redoubles credibility of a group collusion because you find that more than 15 people have been arrested by the Scotland Yard from the age group of 25 years to 45 years, including a women. So this means a new young group is coming up."

The attack has raised the concerns about new generation of separatists who operate from western countries. New Delhi has raised the issue with the UK, Canada and the US during the meetings of the joint working group on counter-terrorism cooperation. These countries are now beginning to realise the seriousness of the threat.

“India is a member of the committee which has always been against terrorism. Only India's cry against terrorism was not taken seriously till terrorism came at their doorsteps. And now western countries are realising how much it is important to curb international terrorism. So it is in this context also that India need to raise this issue of this international terrorism,” Shulka added.

Backed by Pakistan's ISI, Khalistani separatists want to create instability in Punjab. In 1980's and 90's Punjab suffered a lot, due to militancy that claimed almost 12000 lives. By keeping this Khalistan issue alive, the separatists also stand to gain as funds continue to flow in.

In the 1980s, some of the Khalistan proponents turned to militancy, resulting in counter-militancy operations by the Indian security forces. In Operation Blue Star, the Indian Army led by the General Kuldip Singh Brar forcibly entered the Harimandir Sahib (the Golden Temple) to overpower the armed militants and the religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. This incident had created a widespread criticism for the Indian Government and the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, and resulted in her assassination also.

These fresh attacks can be an example or threat of resurfacing of Khalistan movement, which refers to a global political secessionist movement seeking to create a separate Sikh country in Punjab.

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