Supporters of the Khalistan movement, the majority of whom live in Canada, gathered in Brampton, Ontario, to vote in a so-called "referendum" demanding an independent state of Khalistan to be created in India.
Reportedly, more than 1,10,000 Canadian Sikhs took part in voting.
Rather amusingly, the Khalistan supporters also demanded that Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh, be the capital of this imaginary country.
The pro-Khalistani advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a proscribed terrorist group, organised the so-called referendum.
“Today, Canadians voted in the independence referendum to reclaim Shimla as the capital once Punjab is liberated from the Indian occupation. The voting in Punjab for the Khalistan Referendum will start from January 26, 2023, coinciding with India’s 74th Republic Day,” said SFJ's Counsel General Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Canada is home to around a million Sikhs who strongly associate themselves with the Khalistani movement, which have led to rifts with India in the past. These Sikhs, it may be noted, are not Indian citizens, and most of them have been to Punjab.
Earlier, the Canadian government refused to stop Canadian Sikhs from holding the Khalistan Referendum and linking it with a "peaceful and democratic process" within the legal parameters of the country's laws.
On 23 June 1985, Canadian Sikh terrorists bombed Air India Flight 182, which disintegrated in mid-air en route from Montreal to London, at an altitude of 31,000 feet (9,400 m) over the Atlantic Ocean.
The remnants of the airliner fell into the ocean approximately 190 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard, including 268 Canadian citizens, 27 British citizens, and 24 Indian citizens.
The bombing of Air India Flight 182 is the deadliest aviation incident in the history of Air India and was the world's deadliest act of aviation terrorism until the September 11 attacks in 2001.