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.
In the foreign land of Australia, an Indian student has reportedly been confined to prison for months now. An undated video, shows Vishal Jood got into a tussle with a group, that was raising anti-Indian slogans and even desecrating the Indian National Flag. On reports of the tussle, Vishal Jood was arrested a few days later by New South Wales police. There are numerous charges that have been leveled against him.
Indian student confined to Sydney prison
As per Vishal Monga, who was with LIVE with Republic from Melbourne, gave details about the incident that is shown in the video. Vishal Jood, born and brought up in a village in Haryana but presently studying in Australia, took out a Tiranga Yatra in the country on January 26, 2021, after the farmers’ tractor yatra in India took a violent turn, and there were reports of the Indian National Flag being desecrated. The Yatra was opposed by a group of people who were supporting the farmers’ protest; they started raising anti-Indian slogans and desecrating the National Flag. Taking the Flag in his hand from the group, Jood unfurled it in the air. This did not go down well with the crowd gathered at the site, and Jood got involved in a tussle with them. Thereafter, a report was filed and the New South Wales police began an investigation.
“After the investigation, the police arrested Jood and levelled charges of assault and damage and destruction of property. He has been in prison in Sydney ever since, and his bail application has also been pushed for hearing on June 21, 2021,” Vihal Monga said.
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.”
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.
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.