Vishal Jood, 24, who was arrested in Sydney in April this year for his alleged involvement in a series of targeted attacks on the Sikh community, was accorded a hero’s welcome by the Ror community on his return to Haryana’s Kurukshetra on Sunday.
Jood was released earlier this month on completion of six months sentence after the New South Wales police dropped eight charges against him including racial hatred.
Around 200 youth from the Ror community assembled at Panipat to receive him before marching to a dharamshala in Kurushetra.
“On his way to Kurushetra dharamshala for a felicitation programme, he was also welcomed by Rajput community at Gharaunda. Our community had organised programmes at Panipat dharamshala and Umri village as well. Though Vishal was a little reluctant for the road show in the wake of the recent Singhu border incident fearing an attack, he agreed after the community members insisted,” said Naseeb Singh, president, Akhil Bharatiya Ror Mahasabha.
On allegations of his involvement in attacks in Australia on a religious community, Mr. Singh said Jood had been framed.
“Following agitations by our community in the state with the support from other communities as well, especially the Rajputs, the government swung into action. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal, Karnal MP Sanjay Bhatia and Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh met the Union government ministers to facilitate his release,” said Mr. Singh.
Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Minister Alex Hawke, in a tweet on Jood’s return to India, said, “attempts to undermine Australia’s social cohesion will not be tolerated”.
A news item by IndiaLink NEWS, shared by Mr. Hawke on his Twitter handle, quoted him saying that he was pleased “that this unfortunate event has seen our resilient local Hindu and Sikh communities unite. In particular I want to thank community leaders who have worked hard to support their communities in the face of these unfortunate events”.
“Vishal Jood was arrested by NSW police in April after an investigation revealed his alleged connection to a series of targeted attacks on members of the Sikh community. A number of charges were levelled against him but in a plea bargain, NSW’s Department of Public Prosecutors dropped eight charges that included racial hate crime, while Jood pleaded guilty to three charges for which he was sentenced to six months in jail,” said the news item.