India redflags Canada’s one-minute silence, says stop giving space to extremism | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India redflags Canada’s one-minute silence, says stop giving space to extremism

Jun 21, 2024 09:48 PM IST

New Delhi has also been angered by recent protests by Khalistani elements in Canada, such as a “people’s court” outside the Indian consulate in Vancouver

NEW DELHI: India on Friday reiterated its concerns about the Canadian government giving “political space” to extremist elements and those advocating violence, reflecting the sharp downturn in bilateral ties.

Asked about the Canadian Parliament observing a minute’s silence for Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India said New Delhi opposes giving political space to extremism and those advocating violence (Screengrab)
Asked about the Canadian Parliament observing a minute’s silence for Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, India said New Delhi opposes giving political space to extremism and those advocating violence (Screengrab)

India-Canada ties cratered in September last year, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that Indian government agents were linked to the killing of Khalistani activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India dismissed the accusation as “absurd” and said Canadian authorities hadn’t provided any evidence to back up their claim.

New Delhi has also been angered by recent protests by Khalistani elements in Canada, such as a “people’s court” outside the Indian consulate in Vancouver where an effigy of the Indian premier was burnt, and the observance of a minute’s silence by Canada’s House of Commons on Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Nijjar, already declared a terrorist by India.

When external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal was asked at a regular media briefing about the Canadian Parliament observing a minute’s silence for Nijjar, he replied: “We naturally oppose any moves giving political space to extremism and those advocating violence. So, that is our position on this particular issue.”

The external affairs ministry had sent a note verbale, or an unsigned diplomatic correspondence, to the Canadian high commission on Thursday to protest against the “citizen’s court” organised by Khalistani activists outside the mission in Vancouver.

Jaiswal said the activities of Khalistani elements in Canada continue to be a matter of concern for India. “We have been repeatedly calling upon the government of Canada to take action. We have said that the political space that is provided to extremist anti-India elements and those advocating violence must stop and they must take action,” he said.

On the matter of the so-called “citizen’s court”, the Indian side has strongly protested with the Canadian high commission. “Such courts or such gatherings are not helpful at all. We have strongly taken it up with them and told them to take action as appropriate in the matter,” Jaiswal said.

Jaiswal was also asked about the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182 by Khalistani terrorists that resulted in the death of all 329 people on board, including 268 Canadian citizens. The anniversary of one of the worst terrorist attacks involving an airliner will be observed on June 23.

He responded by saying that the “political space given by Canada to extremists [and] people who advocate violence and an anti-India agenda is the real problem”.

Jaiswal added, “Therefore, we have time and again been insisting that the Canadian authorities take action against them.”

The latest developments followed a brief meeting between Trudeau and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the margins of the G7 Summit in Italy, which had given rise to speculation about a possible thaw in bilateral relations.

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