Who is Gopal Chawla: Navjot Sidhu replies to row over photo with Khalistani leader
Navjot Singh Sidhu on whom Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had showered praises yesterday at the Kartarpur event, landed in a fresh controversy today after pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla posting a photograph of himself on Facebook with the Congress leader.
Chawla had put out the photograph barely hours after Pakistan clarified army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s greeting of pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla on the sidelines of the Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony.
In the Facebook post captioned “with sedu pa g” (my brother), Sidhu can be seen standing beside Chawla on the sidelines of the ceremony at Kartarpur.
Upon his return from Pakistan, where he spent three days, Sidhu said that many people had taken photos with him and that he did not know all of them. “There were probably 5-10,000 pictures taken of and with me there (in Pakistan), I don’t know who is Gopal Chawla,” Sidhu said.
Chawla is known as one of the main propagators of the Sikh movement seeking a separate homeland for the community.
Sidhu’s photograph with Chawla went viral early on Thursday morning, with people calling him out for having met a terrorist.
Chawla is reported to be the general secretary of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. His name had cropped up in the investigations into the grenade attack on the Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar in which three were killed.
Chawla is also reported to have prevented Indian diplomats from visiting a gurdwara in Lahore. .
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