New Delhi: The honorary consulate of India in Brisbane was forced to close down on Wednesday due to safety concerns after Khalistan supporters organised an unauthorised gathering and blocked the entry of the office, days after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese assured India that his government will not tolerate “extreme actions.”
The incident is the latest in a series of radical activities against the Indian community in Australia.
It comes days after Australian Prime Minister Albanese assured his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Australia won’t tolerate any extreme actions like attacks on religious places.
The honorary consulate, located on Swann Road in the Taringa suburb of Brisbane, was forced to close down after Khalistan supporters blockaded the entry.
The Queensland police says it was an unauthorised gathering, however they were allowed to enter the consulate property and block anyone from entering it, according to The Australia Today portal.
Parvinder Singh, a resident of regional Queensland, said he took leave from his work to attend an appointment at the Indian consulate in Brisbane.
However, Singh was left with no choice but to go back and reschedule his appointment to get his young child’s Overseas Citizen of Indian card issues sorted.
”These thugs should not be allowed to dictate how we live our life in Australia,” Singh said.
”They are threatening us, when we visit Gurughar (gurudwara) these Khalistan supporters are entering into our daily life for worse.”
”The Queensland government and police need to deal with the full force of the law as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a few days back,” Singh added.
“Australia won’t tolerate any extreme actions and attacks that took place in religious buildings, and there is no place for such action against Hindu temples,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said while addressing a press conference in New Delhi on March 11.
”And we will take every action through our police and also our security agencies to make sure that anyone responsible for this faces the full force of the law. We’re a tolerant multicultural nation, and there is no place in Australia for this activity,” he said.
Sarah L Gates, the director of Hindu Human Rights based in Brisbane, said: ”The Indian consulate was forced to close today due to safety concerns after Sikhs for Justice targeted them with their propaganda.”
”Slogans were raised against Hindus calling them supremacists with Khalistan Zindabad,” Gates said.
A few days back, the honorary consulate of India in Australia’s Brisbane city was targeted by Khalistani supporters who raised the Khalistan flag at the office.
The incidents come following the vandalism of three Hindu temples in Australia by Khalistani supporters.
On January 23, the management of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple, also known as the Hare Krishna Temple, in Melbourne’s Albert Park found the walls of the revered temple vandalised with graffiti ’Hindustan Murdabad’.
On January 16, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria, was vandalised in a similar manner.
On January 12, the Swaminarayan temple in Melbourne was defaced by ‘anti-social elements’ with anti-India graffiti.