The ‘Punjab Independence Referendum’ organized by the Punjab Referendum Commission (PRC) to gauge support for Khalistan was underway at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Westminster on Sunday, as throngs of British Sikhs lined up to have their voices heard.

The PRC which has been appointed by the US-based Khalistani separatist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), had announced to hold the non-binding referendum earlier this month. The Commission consisting of “non-aligned direct democracy experts” are assigned with organizing and holding the referendum on whether Punjab should be independent.

The referendum which started on Sunday in London will also take place in other countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, and the region of Punjab, the commission stated.

PRC chairman M Dane Waters, a political strategist, writer and direct democracy advocate clarified that the commission’s role is to “help the SFJ conduct a referendum that is as consistent with international norms as possible”.

He added that although Sunday’s referendum is a non-governmental and non-binding one, ‘the result will be used as the basis for the Sikh community to request an official binding vote from the United Nations on establishing the Indian governed region of Punjab as an independent homeland for the indigenous people of whom Sikhs are the single largest group’.