UNION CITY, Calif. (Diya TV) — A group of about 300 people gathered in Union City, California for a “Khalistan Freedom Car Rally” the starting point for an afternoon-long jaunt from the East Bay to the Golden Gate Bridge between San Francisco and Marin.

As evidenced by Diya TV’s exclusive live coverage of the “rally,” about 200 cars took part, despite social media reports to the contrary. Many of the vehicles were rented to conceal participants’ identities. 

The event was coordinated by Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a group banned in India led by Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a man deemed a terrorist by the Indian government, whom US officials say was the target of a murder for hire plot. 

India has cracked down on Khalistani extremists in recent months after many of their consulates around the world were targeted. 

10 Sikh men are persons of interest in the March vandalism of the San Francisco Indian Consulate. The consulate was targeted a second time in July, as first reported by Diya TV, where a small fire in front of the consulate started a global firestorm. No suspect information has been released in that incident as of yet.

This rally was planned ahead of SFJ’s Khalistan Referendum initiative to be held in San Francisco on January 28, 2024. This referendum seeks to galvanize global Sikh support for a separate Khalistan nation state within India’s borders. 

Support for such an annexation by people living in Punjab and Northern India today remains very low. After all, such an effort would likely involve extreme bloodshed in an area still beleaguered by the British partition of Punjab in 1947.

Thus, passions and sensitivities over this topic remain high. During the “rally,” Diya TV’s videographer witnessed one truck hanging an Indian flag on the back of their vehicle close to the ground to defile it. But when the vehicle came to a stop, a bystander jumped out of his car to pull the Indian flag off the truck to stop it from being damaged further.