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Watch: Vishal Jood, who stood up to Khalistanis in Australia and was jailed for it, speaks to OpIndia

Vishal and his lawyer also spoke about the ill-treatment that he received while lodged in prison. On his first day, a Sikh prison guard who was a Khalistani had threatened him. On another occasion, he had got a call threatening him with dire consequences.

On the 15th October 2021, Vishal Jood, a young man from Haryana was released from prison in Australia. On September 2 (Local Time), Magistrate K Thomson’s Parramatta LC Court 13 ordered the release of Vishal Jood from an Australian prison.

Vishal pleaded guilty to three minor charges of altercations that happened between September 16, 2020, and February 14, 2021. During the final hearing, Vishal’s lawyer presented video evidence to prove that Jood was provoked by a group of Khalistanis that led to the altercation. For the charges he pleaded guilty to, Jood was sentenced to six months in Jail starting from the day of his arrest, April 16, 2021.

As soon as his sentence was over, Vishaal Jood came back to India, to be with his family, after the tedious moths where he paid the price for standing up for the nation and objecting to Khalistanis abusing the country.

Upon his return, Vishal Jood and his lawyer, Amrendra Singh, sat down for a detailed conversation with OpIndia’s Editor-in-Chief, Nupur J Sharma.

During the interview, several issues pertaining to Vishal Jood’s case were addressed by him and his lawyer. One of the most pertinent issues that was addressed is the chronology of the events. There were separate incidents that had taken place for which, Vishal has been in the news. The first incident was one at Quaker Hill where Khalistanis had congregated for a protest supporters farmers in India. In this incident, they were screaming offensive slogans like “Modi Kutta Hai” and other anti-India slogans. They were also insulting the Indian flag. Vishal had stood up to them and unfurled the Indian flag while standing on the park bench. After this, Vishal was viciously attacked by the Khalistanis.

The second occasion happened on the 14th of February. Right after the Republic Day violence by farmers and Khalistanis, Vishal Jood organised a Tiranga Rally to show solidarity with India. During that rally, Khalistanis started looking for Vishaal Jood. In fact, Jood reveals that while the Tiranga rally was one, the Khalistanis had lied to the Australian police authorities to allege that the participants of the rally were going to attack a Gurudwara. Despite having the required permissions, they were asked to end the rally and turn back.

As Vishal was nearing the starting point, Khalistanis found him and charged at him with a baseball bat. Jood, on his part, snatch the baseball bat and hit their car to scare them instead.

It was this incident for which he plead guilty for the possession of the weapons (a baseball bat which was not even his) and the assault (which was self defence).

Interestingly, the video footage of the Khalistanis attacking Jood was mysteriously missing and therefore, the Khalistani in both incidents, who attacked Jood, have not been charged.

Besides these incidents, Vishal and his lawyer also spoke about the ill-treatment that he received while lodged in prison. On his first day, a Sikh prison guard who was a Khalistani had threatened him. On another occasion, he had got a call threatening him with dire consequences. On both occasions, the prison guards were let off with a warning and Jood was simply moved to a different location inside the same prison.

In the prison, Jood was also denied certain basic rights. He suspects it was the Khalistani prisoner who was responsible for it. On occasion, he would not get his food on time, or was not allowed to make a call to his family.

Aside from these issues, the lawyer of Jood also revealed that the Indian media and parts of the Australian media had misreported that Vishal had been deported from Australia. In reality, he was not deported. He was given the option to get a lifetime visa of Australia but had denied and wanted to come back to India.

The Vishal Jood Case

24-year-old Vishal Jood hails from Haryana and currently pursuing higher studies in Australia. He was arrested for his alleged involvement in three crimes in Sydney on April 16. Reports suggest that he was picked by the Australian Police after a group of Indian nationalists clashed with Khalistani elements in Australia. He was charged with damage to property, affray, and assault.

Interestingly, in all three cases, Khalistanis were named as victims. These Khalistani elements are believed to be Indian-origin, however, they do not identify themselves as Indians but prefer bein

The matter got escalated to the point where both groups gathered at Harris Park and indulged in a gang fight. Jassi, the main culprit in the case, was badly injured. However, Jassi did not back down and continued to threaten Hindus, suggesting he would thrash Haryanvis if he comes across them alone. The tension further escalated between Indians and pro-Khalistani elements 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 and arhatiyas (intermediaries), instigated by Khalistani elements, reached Australia too.

While farmer protests were happening in India, Khalistani elements held similar protests in Australia and used abusive language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 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 Delhi’s Red Fort. The incident sent shockwaves across the world, and the Indian diaspora across the world, including in Australia, condemned the incident.

Reportedly, an Indian flag was also burnt at a Gurudwara in Sydney, but OpIndia could not verify the details. As a retaliation, a Khalistani flag was burnt by Indian students that irked the Khalistanis further. 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.

On February 28 this year, the Khalistanis entered the localities near Sydney’s Harris Park, where Indians live and vandalised cars and properties. 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”. The family accused Australian police of deliberately delaying to please Khalistanis and alleged that Indian High Commission was not helping them too.

On September 1, Jood’s lawyer came to an agreement with the prosecutors, and Vishal pleaded guilty in two cases that included charges of minor altercation. Rest of the charges were dropped. The Australia Today quoted Vishal’s brother saying, “By the grace of Bajrang Bali Vishal will be with us soon, we are looking forward to his release from Sydney Prison.”

OpIndia talked to a few Indian nationalists who said that 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.

 

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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