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Vishal Jood rushed out of Australia

24-year-old Vishal Jood had been in police custody since April for involvement in a series of gang attacks in Sydney’s west

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Hours after his release from custody, controversial jailed Indian national Vishal Jood was rushed out of Australia on the first available flight.

In a statement, Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke MP, confirmed that the Australian Government immediately assisted an Indian national to depart Australia on the first available flight to India.

The Minister stated, “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.”

Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Alex Hawke, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Under the Migration Act, non-citizens who have committed serious crimes can be deported at the end of their jail sentence.

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.

Minister Hawke further stated, “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. In particular I want to thank community leaders who have worked hard to support their communities in the face of these unfortunate events. Their efforts to build cross-community unity and resilience against the attempts by a small minority to incite discord and disharmony have demonstrated the importance and benefit of our nation’s strong social cohesion.”

It is believed that there was lobbying undertaken at very senior levels in the Indian government to secure the release of Vishal Jood due to political pressure from the ruling BJP in the state from which he hails.

Even as a social media campaign raged in India to proclaim Vishal Jood as an innocent upholder of the ‘Indian flag’ (aka a ‘tiranga warrior’), sparking unruly protests even in North America, a movement began in Australia to ensure that Jood be brought to face the Australian courts for charges levelled and “not be allowed to return to India without justice being served.”

READ ALSO: Indian Link’s updates on the Vishal Jood case

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