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Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal got an e-visa to India

Citizens of Canada, like Atwal are eligible for an India e-visa, a facility India extends to nationals of some 150 countries.

india Updated: Feb 28, 2018 23:19 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jaspal Atwal,Khalistan,Khalistani terrorist
Since Atwal’s name was removed from the list of blacklisted Sikh militants by India’s home ministry in 2016, there was nothing that could have possibly prevented him from getting an e-visa. (Screengrab)

Jaspal Singh Atwal, once a convicted Khalistani terrorist, and the man who spoiled Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party during his now controversial visit to India that ended on February 24, came to the country on an e-visa, two persons familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity.

Citizens of Canada, like Atwal are eligible for an India e-visa, a facility India extends to nationals of some 150 countries.

Since Atwal’s name was removed from the list of blacklisted Sikh militants by India’s home ministry in 2016, there was nothing that could have possibly prevented him from getting an e-visa.

Getting e-visa involves a completely online application for which no facilitation is required by any intermediary.

“He as a Canadian national and obtained an e-visa,” said an Indian official.This person added that this doesn’t mean the “ government of India had any role in him” being in India or being “invited to a reception hosted by the High Commission of that country for the visiting Prime Minister”. “The Canadian High Commission managed the guest-lists for the reception and government didn’t have any role in it”. The High Commission rescinded the invite, later.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had earlier said the ministry would ascertain how Atwal got the visa. Atwal served five years of a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted of attempting to kill visiting Indian politician Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver Island in 1986.

India, Hindustan Times learns, had proposed that the visit begin with the official leg of the trip in New Delhi, including meeting with PM Narendra Modi and a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan. It isn’t clear how the itinerary was finalised -- both sides would have signed off on it -- but this was later pushed to the final leg of the trip.

The visit was from February 17 to 24 and Trudeau met Modi on February 23, the penultimate day of the visit.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 23:18 IST