The polling for Khalistan referendum will start at 9:00am today (Sunday) and will continue till 5 pm on Sunday in the Brescia city of Italy. A referendum for a separate Sikh homeland started from London on October 31, last year, and so far tens of thousands of Sikhs have participated in the polling held in different cities of UK and other countries. The exercise had sent a strong message to India to end discrimination against Sikhs. The findings of the referendum would be shared with the United Nations and other international bodies to create wider consensus regarding the separate homeland for Sikhs in India. Sikhs’ demand for a separate homeland is in complete consonance with the United States Charter and India cannot stop them from getting their birthright of freedom. International Sikh advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has been organising Khalistan Referendum movement and has brought out thousands of Sikhs in the UK, Geneva and now in Italy. The SFJ said that Italy is home to more than 200,000 Sikhs who are a vibrant part of the Italian community and that’s the reason this city was chosen for the parade and the referendum. Under Prime Minister Modi, persecution of Sikhs for supporting the Khalistan referendum campaign has increased as hundreds have been charged, detained and tortured under colonial-era sedition laws. Sikhs movement for Khalistan has its roots in India’s June 1984 military action – Operation Blue Star – against the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar in which thousands of Sikh pilgrims were massacred by the security forces and consequently resulting in the assassination of the then former prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31 followed by genocidal violence against Sikhs across India.