On Tuesday, an investigation report by the Australian Hindu Association revealed the unpublished details of the Harris Park Khalistani attack in which the accused Manhar Singh pleaded guilty to dangerously driving a car and assaulting Hindu nationalists. Singh has been sentenced to a Community Corrections Order for 18 months in Sydney, Australia.
The Sydney Khalistani attacks – Part 1. EXCLUSIVE. An in-depth AHA investigation containing hitherto unpublished evidence. @SikhsSeva @puneet_sahani @amenksingh @KundalBharti @OpIndia_com @UnSubtleDesi @hindupost @khattargi @SarahLGates1 @Sachin_Sydney https://t.co/zoR0UJsEf0— Australian Hindu Media (@austhindu) May 16, 2022
According to the reports, the incident dates back to 2020 when a band of Hindu nationalists clashed with a group of Khalistanis at Harris park in an organized brawl following a quarrel that ensued over an argument over TikTok. It was broadcast through social media platforms. The fight started after Khalistani had posted pro-Khalistani and anti-India content on TikTok.
One Haryanvi 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 two sides clashed with each other. People from both sides were injured in the process and Jassi, the main culprit who had posted anti-India videos was badly injured. Videos had circulated on YouTube regarding the matter.
Videos that went viral showed rioters with cricket bats and iron rods creating ruckus in Harris Park. The Police in a quick action then dispersed the crowd and arrested the three main accused, Manhar Singh, Baljinder Singh Thukral, and Avon Kanwal in the case.
The investigation report by the Australian Hindu Association on May 17 stated that Singh had also hit the person who was recording a video of the entire incident. In the police statement, the bystander victim said that around 50 Khalistani men chanted ‘Khalistani Jindabad’ and drove close to the Hindu group in Harris Park.
The accused Manhar Singh was driving the black Audi car and asked the person to stop recording the video. Singh then mercilessly hit the bystander when he refused to stop recording the incident. “He hit me on my forearm, causing the phone to drop. The driver of the Audi (Singh) got back into the car and kept driving backwards and forwards into the group of males fighting and then he drove away”, the bystander was quoted.
Reports mention that the two accused named Manhar Singh and Baljinder Singh Thukral were immediately arrested however, the third accused Kanwal was arrested two weeks after the incident. Thukral was accused of allegedly threatening or inciting violence on grounds of religion (Section 93Z of the Crimes Act) and Kanwal was charged with allegedly using a carriage service to cause the menace. Later in August 2021, Manhar Singh who says he never used TikTok pleaded guilty to his involvement in the brawl.
The Paramatta Police had also falsely accused an Indian student named Vishal Jood of allegedly attacking the Khalistani extremists in Sydney. He was arrested on April 16, 2021, also on the charges of damage to property, affray, and assault. He was accused of three crimes that allegedly occurred on 16 September 2020 and 14 and 28 February 2021.
However, on September 2, the Court ordered the release of the Indian student lodged in a jail in Australia. As per reports, in a plea bargain, NSW’s Department of Public Prosecutors dropped eight charges that included the racial hate crime charges against Jood.
Vishal reportedly pleaded guilty to two 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.