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India to convey displeasure to Canada for ‘last minute’ flag hoisting denial

The flag hoisting was mentioned in the agenda of the event, but an organiser said “at the last minute”, they were informed by the office of Mayor Rob Burton that permission had been denied.

chandigarh Updated: Jun 09, 2019 11:01 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindusatn Times, Toranto
India,Canada,Ottawa
This incident left the diplomat upset and he told organisers he would raise it with the Canadian Government.(Reuters File Photo / Representative image )

India is likely to formally express its displeasure to Ottawa after permission to raise the national flag at an event in a town in the Greater Toronto Area was withdrawn by its mayor after apparently being pressured by some residents who claimed they found it objectionable since it was during the week they were commemorating the 35th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

India’s Consul General in Toronto, Dinesh Bhatia, was to unfurl the Indian flag at an event marking the founding of the Oakville Indo-Canadian Association at the city’s Town Hall. The flag hoisting was mentioned in the agenda of the event, but an organiser, who did not want to be named, said “at the last minute”, they were informed by the office of Mayor Rob Burton that permission had been denied. While the event proceeded, and both Indian and Canadian flags featured in the backdrop, the denial of permission riled many.

While emailed queries to Mayor Burton did not receive a response, organisers said they were told the decision was taken after some Sikh residents of Oakville called his office and petitioned him against the flag hoisting. This incident left the diplomat upset and he told organisers he would raise it with the Canadian Government. Bhatia was unavailable for comment, but Indian officials said they took the matter very seriously and would take it up with Ottawa.

Some Indo-Canadian residents of Oakville were also livid at this episode. Businessman Anil Shah, a resident, said, “This is terrible. This is a total disaster for our (bilateral) relationship, and for our (the community’s) relationship with the Mayor.”

A representative of Indo-Canadian community members is expected to meet Burton next week to make their point of view clear.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Jun 09, 2019 11:01 IST