Protests in major US cities, including Los Angeles and New York, continued Thursday as Indian police searched for Sikh activist Amritpal Singh.
They mirrored civil unrest in cities across Punjab, where an Internet shutdown implemented by the Indian government is currently affecting 27 million people, in what appears to be an effort to suppress protests, NBC News reported.
He Demonstrations at Indian embassies and consulates in the US supported the Sikh separatist movement to create an independent nation called “Khalistan”. Similar protests have been seen in England, Australia and Canada.
Sikh activists are coming together for multiple reasons. In Chicago and Sacramento, they organized to protest India’s lack of transparency with its laws, alleged human rights violations and government attempts to arrest Singh.
Punjab Inspector General Sukhchain Singh Gill said Singh is wanted on charges of “creating class disharmony, attempted murder, attacking policemen and preventing them from carrying out their duties,” he told the Times of India.
Kunarveer Singh, who serves as an organizer for the California Sikh Youth Alliance, says the protests are in support of Singh, but more broadly, in opposition to the suppression of minority religions in India.
“We’ve realized that if no one else is going to speak for us, then you have to do it yourself,” he told NBC News. “There is no media blackout here. So if they can’t do it (in India), we’ll do it here.”