Supporters of the Khalistan movement in Australia stormed the Indian Consulate in Queensland’s capital of Brisbane and also raised their flag at the office, media reports said, becoming the latest addition to a series of attacks against the Indian community in the country.
What happened?: The Consulate, in Brisbane’s Taringa suburb, was stormed by Khalistan supporters at night on Wednesday, 21 February.
The next morning, Archana Singh, Honorary Consul of India in Brisbane, found a Khalistan flag at the office and immediately informed the Queensland Police, which took possession of the flag.
Moreover, they also checked the Consulate’s premises to confirm the absence of a threat.
The timing: The attack on the Consulate comes barely a few days after Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Australia and expressed the need to be vigilant against “radical” elects that are targeting the Indian community in Australia.
From the ground: J Bhardwaj, Editor of The Australia Today told news agency ANI, “Till now, there were attacks on Indian Australians. But now, target is institutions belonging to Indian govt."
"This is a direct attack on Government of India when the Indian Consulate in Brisbane is attacked (by Khalistani elements)," he added.
A swarm of attacks: The Hare Krishna Temple in Melbourne's Albert Park, also known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple, discovered on 23 January that the walls of the revered temple had been vandalized with the phrase "Hindustan Murdabad" in graffiti.
Similarly, on 16 January, the historic Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs, Victoria was also vandalized.
Additionally, on 12 January, the Swaminarayan Temple in Melbourne was defaced with anti-India graffiti by "anti-social elements".
Jaishankar's visit: During their meeting, Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar and his Australian counterpart Penny Wong discussed the pressing issue.
Meanwhile, on that same day, reports indicated that Khalistan supporters had threatened two Hindu Temples during their Mahashivratri celebrations.
The appeal: India has already requested that the Australian government take action to prevent further anti-India activities by Khalistan separatists, including attacks on Hindu temples within the country.