‘Disgraceful’ scenes as illegal immigrant who was booted from Australia for horrific crimes receives a HERO’S welcome on return to his home town in India
- Vishal Jood, 24, was jailed for six months in relation to attacks on Sikhs in NSW
- He was deported back to India on Sunday and received a warm welcome
- Jood’s supporters say he was trying to protect the Indian flag from violation
- He pleaded guilty to offences including assault but had eight charges dropped
An international student deported from Australia over attacks against the Sikh community has received a hero’s welcome on return to his home town in India.
Vishal Jood, who lived in Parramatta in Sydney’s west, was arrested in April this year in relation to targeted assaults in September 2020 and February 2021.
He was hit with a string of charges but eight were dropped under a plea deal, including an allegation relating to racial hate crime.
The 24-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of assault, occasioning actual bodily harm in the company of others and armed with intention to commit an indictable offence.
He was jailed for six months.
Vishal Jood was given a warm welcome upon his return to India on Sunday after spending six months in jail in NSW in relation to attacks on the Sikh community
Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke confirmed Jood had been deported to his home state of Haryana on Sunday.
He was living on an expired student visa at the time of his arrest, Mr Hawke said.
‘The man was an unlawful non-citizen at the time of his arrest. The Morrison Government takes very seriously its responsibility to protect Australians from non-citizens who engage in criminal conduct. We will always act decisively to protect our community,’ he said in a statement.
‘Attempts to undermine Australia’s social cohesion will not be tolerated. I am pleased that this unfortunate event has seen our resilient local Hindu and Sikh communities unite.’
Footage shared on social media shows a line of cars driving through the streets with friends and family celebrating Jood’s return.
Jood was seen standing on top of a car with the Indian flag around his shoulders as family and friends celebrated his return
Jood was welcomed back into India with his supporters saying he was trying to protect the Indian flag from violation at the time of the allegations
He was seen with the Indian flag around his shoulders as he stood up in a car as it travelled through the city of Karnal.
Jood’s loved ones had organised a roadshow for him and gifted him garlands of flowers to wear around his neck.
The former prisoner has a large backing from supporters who claim he was trying to protect the Indian flag from being violated by Khalistan sympathisers, who want to create a homeland for Sikhs in the Indian state of Punjab.
The 24-year-old had claimed he was ‘upholding the honour of the Indian Tricolour’ at the time of the allegations.
It’s understood members of the Indian government had pushed for Australian authorities to release him.
Members of the Ror community, which Jood is a part of, had even organised protests in the streets demanding he be returned to his country.
‘Some people from the particular group were behind this incident and I could not tolerate the insult of Tricolour following which the entire episode happened. I was framed in false cases,’ Jood alleged, the Times of India reported.
The 24-year-old had claimed he was ‘upholding the honour of the Indian Tricolour’ at the time of the allegations
One video shared to Twitter was captioned ‘Welcome back hero’.
But not everyone was happy with Jood’s return, with some blasting those who have given him a warm welcome.
Ravinder Singh, CEO of humanitarian non-government organisation Khalsa Aid, said she was horrified by the celebratory reception.
‘He received a hero’s welcome in India! It seems that those who attack Sikhs become heroes! This is a huge insult to all Sikhs and the justice system! Absolute disgrace!’ she tweeted.
‘Arrested in Australia, and then deported for alleged attacks on Sikhs. Gets a hero’s welcome in India as if he’s won the World Cup. This country is sick,’ wrote another.
Jood (pictured centre in the black shirt) has sparked controversy with his return in India