By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 11 July 2021: Meenakshi Lekhi, India’s new Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Culture, has been approached by the Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar to intervene in the case of a 24-year-old Haryana student Vishal Jood, who is in a Sydney jail facing charges of assaults against Sikhs in Sydney’s west. He was arrested by the NSW police on 16 April 2021, at a house in Dixon Street, Parramatta. His hearing is due on 12 August 2021 in a Parammatta court.
ANI reports, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday (July 10, 2021) wrote a letter to Meenakshi Lekhi urging her “high priority intervention to secure justice for a ‘Son of Haryana’ in Australia, Khattar has written that he has received representations from various quarters including his family who have conveyed to him that Vishal Jood got into a tussle with a group, that was raising anti-Indian slogans and even desecrating the Indian national flag and these groups have subsequently framed him on false charges.”
“In the letter, the chief minister has further highlighted that he had also held a virtual meeting with some representatives of the Indian diaspora in Australia, who are backing Jood and have started a campaign there, to get him released from jail, as early as possible. There have been protests and demonstrations in various parts of Haryana and north India in support of Jood and there is strong public sentiment for his early release, he added.”
An NSW police media release says, ” The Indian National has been charged with three counts of affray, three counts of armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, two counts of destroy or damage property – $ 5,000 & $15,000 (DV), and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the company of other(s).”
The case is connected to incidents, the police media release says, on 16 September 2020 and 28 February 2021 in which there was an attack on a man and a group of people were attacked respectively. There was another incident on 14 February 2021, a man driving a Range Rover was attacked. The incidents have been probed by the Parramatta Police Area Command.