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India takes up with Australia demonstrations by Khalistani elements in Brisbane

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New Delhi: India has taken up with Australia the demonstrations outside its honorary consulate in Brisbane by pro-Khalistani elements.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi suggested that the work at the consulate was very briefly halted following the demonstrations on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 10 raised with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese the recent incidents of attacks on temples in Australia as well as pro-Khalistani activities in that country.

Next day, Albanese said he assured his Indian counterpart Modi that Australia will not tolerate attacks on religious places and anyone responsible for such activities will face the “full force of the law”.

“There is an honorary consulate there and not a Consulate General of India. I understand small number of protesters were there. For a little while there were some disruptions. But it is not closed,” Bagchi said at a media briefing.

“The Honorary Consulate continues to function normally providing necessary services. I would not like to comment on footages particularly video footages which are not been confirmed,” he said referring to some videos of the demonstration.

Bagchi said India has taken up the issue with the Australian authorities.

“We have taken it up with the government. You heard the prime minister taking it up with the Australian prime minister. And we have been taking up on a regular basis whenever such incidents occur. Unfortunately they have occurred a number of times,” Bagchi said.

“Our teams are in touch and that’s how we take this up quickly. I am not going to get into the composition or the level of the teams but they are in touch,” he said.

On the so-called referendum by the pro-Khalistani elements, Bagchi said India takes up with governments of countries from where reports of such activities emerge.

“As regards to the so called referendum, our views are very clear on this. I am not going to spell it again what we are going to tell them…we have flagged it to our counterparts not just in Australia but other parts as well wherever such efforts have been made,” he added.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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