Indian authorities have protested to Australian authorities and strongly condemned ‘attacks by extremist elements’.

New Delhi: After the vandalization of three Hindu temples in Melbourne, a clash broke out between the Indian diaspora and Khalistan sympathisers in Melbourne on 29January.The clash took place when people with Indian flags gathered at the Federation Square to protest against Khalistan referendum organized by US-based Sikhs for Justice but, soon after, an argument broke out between the two groups, and pro-Khalistan supporters started attacking protestors with sticks.
Before this clash, Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Mill Park and Hindu Temple in Albert Park were defaced by Khalistansympathisers. Anti-Hindu and anti-India slogans were written on the walls of the temples.
In recent times, anti-India activities have seen a steep rise in the West. After this incident, diplomatic channels in India and Australia are trying to pacify the situation.The Indian authorities have protested to the Australian authorities. “We strongly condemn such attacks by extremist elements and we urge local authorities to investigate and punish the perpetrators. We have been repeatedly taking up with the Australian authorities our concerns about actions by such elements, including those that are proscribed terrorist organisations,” External Affairs ministry spokesperson ArindamBagchi told a weekly media briefing.
India has also requested Australia to ensure the safety and security of Indian members. The mastermind behind the unrest in Melbourne is Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), the pro-Khalistan organization that was banned in 2019 for anti-India activities and has spread its tentacles in the west to promote its propaganda against India.
In 2021, SFJ launched the Khalistan referendum to gain support for the Khalistan movement. The first phase referendum took place in the UK on 31December 2021. According to media reports, more than 110,000 Khalistan sympathisers reportedly voted in the Canadian city of Brampton and 55,000 people voted in Melbourne, according to SFJ.
Indian High Commissioner in Australia Manpreet Vohra visited vandalised temples in Melbourne. After these incidents, Vohra said recent incidents were highly disturbing and created discord within the community.According to Australian media, two people were arrested after the clash at Federation Square, Melbourne. Two Khalistan sympathisers were arrested at the scene and were issued with a penalty notice for riotous behaviour.