NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a banned terrorist group with India, has declared the American phase of the Khalistan referendum, set to commence on January 28, 2024. The announcement was made during the 44th annual Sikh parade in California’s Yuba City, where SFJ emphasized its commitment to the “America Votes” initiative.

SFJ’s legal counsel, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, shared the news, saying the group’s perspective on the Khalistan referendum as a journey seeking Sikh sovereignty. Pannun mentioned the historical context, linking it to the avenging of Operation Blue Star, the killing of Indira Gandhi, and the assassination of former Indian Army Chief General A.S. Vaidya by Sikh separatists in 1986.

The declaration follows Pannun’s call for a global Sikh community boycott of Air India on November 19, asserting that flying with the airline on that day could pose risks to individuals’ lives. Pannun urged Sikhs to participate in a global blockade against Air India and called for the shutdown of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.

While the Khalistan Referendum challenges India’s claim to territorial integrity, Pannun explained that the call to boycott Air India aims to disrupt India’s economic hegemony.

SFJ’s announcement in Yuba City marked the conclusion of the second phase of the Khalistan referendum, which took place on October 29 in Surrey, Canada. During this phase, the group offered a $100,000 reward for the arrest of High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma and unveiled a new map incorporating Delhi into Khalistan.

The annual Sikh Parade festival, attracting an estimated 300,000 attendees, is a prominent event introduced by well-known Punjabi-American peach farmer Didar Singh Bains, also known as the “Peach King.” The festival, held on the first Sunday of November, draws South Asians from the US, Canada, England, and India, providing a platform for SFJ to announce its plans for the upcoming American phase of the Khalistan referendum.

The increase in Khalistan messaging in the West has already strained India-Canada relations and is adding a new complexity in US-India relations.