Khalistan T-shirts in Canadian school

April 23rd, 2008 - 7:58 pm ICT by admin  

Vancouver, April 23 (IANS) Sikh students of a school in Surrey near this Canadian city were asked to take off their T-shirts with printed pro-Khalistan images and slogans. Surrey officials said the incident happened at the Princess Margaret Secondary School where 15 Sikh students Friday appeared in classes with T-shirts with photographs of the late Khalistan idealogue Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.

The students were asked to remove the T-shirts as many others viewed them negatively, said Doug Strachan, Surrey School district communications manager, according to the Canadian Broadcast Corp.

“I think it’s safe to say that even within the Indo-Canadian community, Khalistan, and the pursuit of it, is something that is controversial. Whether that is political or the violence related to that, there were some concerns expressed,” he said.

Bhindranwale spearheaded a violent campaign to form an independent Sikh state called Khalistan in India. He was killed when the Indian Army raided the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out Sikh militants.

But the Canadian school will not take any disciplinary action against the students. Surrey is home to the largest number of Sikhs in Canada.

Although a majority of them are apparently opposed to Khalistan, some radical elements among them have kept the issue alive.

During a Baisakhi parade more than a week ago, pictures of slain militant leaders and assassins of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi were displayed, forcing Canadian political leaders to stay away from the event.

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