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India warned about growing Khalistani pockets in Canada

world Updated: Apr 17, 2010 12:14 IST

Former Canadian health minister Ujjal Dosanjh warned India to wake up to the danger posed by Khalistani elements in Canada after he was threatened not to attend the upcoming annual Baisakhi parade in Surrey city, near Vancouver on Saturday.

"India needs to worry about how these pockets (of Khalistanis) are growing in Canada. Canadian politicians also need to worry about the consequences of these activities," Dosanjh said.

"India should wake up because Khalistani elements are poisoning the minds of second and third generation Indians here who don't know much about India and its rich multicultural heritage," he added.

The organisers of the parade warned that if Dosanjh went to the celebrations, he would be responsible for his own security.

The organisers also urged people to carry pro-Khalistan floats and hoist Khalistani flags and photos of 'Sikh martyrs' during the celebrations.

Making this announcement on a Punjabi radio show here, Inderjit Singh Bains, one of the organisers of the parade, said Dosanjh and local legislator Dave Hayer were not invited.

He said if these leaders did show up, they would be responsible for their own safety.

Both Dosanjh and Hayer have been known for their opposition to Sikh radicals in Canada. Hayer's journalist father Tara Singh Hayer was gunned down by Khalistani elements to stop him from deposing in the Air India Kanishka bombing case.

Dosanjh, who was severely beaten with iron rods in Vancouver for his opposition to Khalistani elements in the 1980s, said that he will not attend the Baisakhi parade, but he has informed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police about the threat to him.

"These guys need to understand that they cannot silence voices that oppose them. Glorification of violence anywhere can never be justified," Dosanjh said.

"These guys would never dare treat a non-Indian politician this way. Because they think I am Indian and I am brown, and I should fear them. I have lived a free life and I will never succumb to any threats," he added.

Dosanjh who created history in 2000 by becoming the first non-white premier in Canada, said, "These elements represent hate and you cannot have any truck with hate mongers."