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Who is Vishal Jood? An Indian national arrested for taking on Khalistani extremists in Australia

Vishal Jood has been languishing in a jail in the down under country for two months now. The police have arrested the Haryana-based Jood on charges of damage to property, affray, and assault.

Hundreds of supporters have gathered in Sydney, Australia, in the last few days in support of Vishal Jood, an Indian arrested by Australian authorities over charges of attacking Khalistani extremists in Sydney.

According to reports, Indian student Vishal Jood was arrested by Australian police on April 16 for involving in an attack in Sydney. As per the Indian diaspora in Australia, it has been two months since his arrest, and Australian authorities have neither released him on bail nor allowed them to speak to him.

Thousands of supporters are seen defending Jood and rallying to free the jailed student, the face of pro-Indian rallies against the Khalistani onslaught in Australia in the last few months. Joining the Indian diaspora, several netizens from India have demanded the immediate release of the Indian nationalist arrested in Sydney and trended hashtag #JusticeForVishalJood, with posts calling for the government and diplomatic agencies to aid his release.

BJP leader Kapil Mishra also tweeted in support of the nationalist from Haryana, saying, ”Vishal Jood stood up for India Vishal Jood stood up for Tiranga. He needs justice. Pls ensure Consular access for Vishal Jood Pls help @AusHCIndia @MEAIndia @HCICanberra @cgimelbourne #JusticeForVishalJood”.

India’s Olympic wrestler from Haryana, Yogeshwar Dutt was also among the public figures that supported Jood. He tweeted, “I demand #JusticeForVishalJood who raised his voice against #Khalistan and save our #tricolor Please help @AusHCIndia @dpa_mea @HCICanberra @cgimelbourne.”

Several Indians have now joined the campaign seeking the immediate release of Vishal Jood, who asserted that he was arrested for taking on the Khalistani elements in Australia, who have been defaming Indian for a very long time now.

Who is Vishal Jood?

Vishal Jood, the 24-year-old from Haryana, a student in Australia, was arrested on 16 April in Sydney for his alleged involvement in three criminal incidents. The Australian police officials picked Vishal Jood after a group of Indian nationalists had clashed with Khalistanis in Australia. Vishal Jood has been languishing in a jail in the down in the country for two months now. The police have arrested the Haryana-based Jood on charges of damage to property, affray, and assault.

Reportedly, Vishal has been accused of three crimes that allegedly occurred on 16 September 2020 and 14 and 28 February 2021. Interestingly, the Khalistani victims have been named the ‘victims’ in all three cases. These Khalistani elements are believed to Indian-origin, however, they do not identify themselves as Indians but prefer being identified with their religious identity and support the idea of Khalistan.

According to few Indian nationalists who spoke to OpIndia, the hostilities between the Indian diaspora and the Khalistani extremists existed for a long time but took a violent turn on August 28, 2020. The fight started after Jassi, a Khalistani, started posting pro-Khalistani and anti-India content on TikTok.

The Indian diaspora individual took objection to the video, and soon, the matter escalated to a point where both sides convinced their friends to gather for a gang fight at Harris Park. When they gathered, the Khalistanis raised pro-Khalistan slogans as well before the sides clashed with each other. People from both sides were injured in the process, and Jassi, the main culprit, was badly injured.

Apparently, the matter did not end there as Jassi continued to threaten Hindus, saying he will thrash Haryanvis if he comes across them alone. 

However, the tensions escalated between Indians and Khalistanis once again after the passing of farmer bills in the country and the subsequent protests that began in Punjab in September last year. The protests led by rich farmers, instigated by Khalistani elements, reached Australia too.

The Khalistanis had organised similar protests in Australia too, and at one such protest, last year in Quakers Hill, Sydney, Vishal and his friends countered the anti-India protests. The pro-Khalistan extremists were seen abusing India and Prime Minister Modi, saying, “Modi Kutta”. As the Indian diaspora, including Vishal, confronted the radical elements, the Khalistanis attacked them leaving many injured.

A few months later, on January 26, the alleged farmers camping at the Delhi border, joining hands with Khalistani elements had unleashed violence on the streets of New Delhi and desecrated the national flag at the Delhi’s Red Fort. The incident sent shockwaves across the world and the Indian diaspora in many parts of the world condemned the incident.

Similarly, the Indian diaspora in Australia too had organised a rally to condemn the attacks on Indian soil by Khalistanis on the same day. Incidentally, Australia Day is also celebrated on the same day as Republic Day in India on January 26, and the Indian diaspora had taken out a car rally.

The Khalistani elements, perturbed by the solidarity rallies, attacked the Indian diaspora in Australia, and there were some reports of attacks on Indian-owned businesses in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne. It was reported that an Indian flag was burnt at a Gurudwara in Sydney. However, OpIndia could not verify this independently.

Later, in retaliation, a group of Indian students in Sydney retaliated by burning a Khalistan flag and one of them posted a picture of him standing on the same Khalistan flag.

The burning of the Khalistani flag set the extremists on fire, who retaliated against Indians with more hatred. A Tiktok video went viral from a pro-Khalistan account that showed many Khalistanis beating someone up brutally. Soon, they declared they had bashed an individual named Vishal Jood who had ‘insulted their flag’.

However, a day later, it came to light that the Khalistanis had ended up beating some random guy, not Vishal. The next day Vishal was seen organising a car rally in solidarity with the tricolour, triggering Khalistani extremists. The Khalistanis continued to provoke Indians, and the latter countered by similar videos, however, they ended up giving away their address, daring the Khalistanis to attack.

On 28 February, the Khalistanis entered the localities near Sydney’s Harris Park, where Indians leave and vandalised cars and properties. Driven by their frustration of not avenging the burning of the Khalistan flag, the extremists wanted to bash Vishal in the house that he was renting, only to be outmatched by the Haryana lad and his friends.

As they could not attack the Indian diaspora, the desperate radical, pro-Khalistani Sikh leadership approached the powerful politicians claiming that Hindus are targeting them due to their turbans. The local media ran stories supporting Khalistani elements, who form a powerful vote bank in the area.

On April 16, a few weeks after the alleged crime, Vishal was arrested from his house in Sydney. The Australian Police stated that there is an outstanding warrant against him since 2018 for “other crimes”. As per his friends, they have not specified any details about such crimes. The Indian High Commission counsellor was also not allowed to access him, his friends said.

Family accuse Australian police deliberately delaying to please Khalistanis, says Indian High Commission is not helping them too

Ever since the Sydney police arrested Vishal on dubious charges, supplemented by the purported videos presented by the Khalistanis, the Indian diaspora has been demanding the release of Vishal Jood. They have approached the Sydney police authorities, however, their efforts have gone in vain.

Meanwhile, Vishal’s lawyer took it up with prison authorities, threatening legal action, which led to the police adding further criminal charges against Vishal and transferring the case to a higher court to cause further trouble to Vishal and the Indians community.

Vishal Jood’s friends and family have alleged that Australian police have targeted Jood for frequently standing up for India and challenging Khalistani elements operating from Australian soil. Vishal Jood’s friends and family have said the police have acted under pressure from Khalistani groups to frame him.

Later, it emerged that Vishal Jood is a diabetic and did not have access to his medicine in jail. For days, his friends and family were denied access despite his medical condition. In fact, his friends, who spoke to OpIndia, has said that Vishal’s only fault was that he tried to take out a tricolour rally in support of India, which seems to have upset a few Khalistani groups back in Australia.

His father said, “We want consular access to Vishal. He should be free as early as possible, he tried to save India’s flag, he has done nothing wrong, but Khalistani people framed him.”

The father of Vishal Jood has been trying to access consular access to Vishal. However, the Indian High Commission in Australia has not obliged the requests of the Indian diaspora yet. Speaking to OpIndia, one of the members of the Indian diaspora expressed his disappointment over the reluctance of the Indian High Commission to stand for the interests of the Indians. He claimed that the authorities are showing any interest in releasing Vishal Jood or seeking consular access.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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