Radical threat to Amarinder: Canada puts lid on probe, Punjab Cong demands re-opening of case

The Indian high commission in Canada had lodged a formal complaint to global affairs-Canada (Canada’s foreign office) in April following a threat publicly issued to Amarinder by pro-Khalistan elements during a Baisakhi Day event in British Columbia’s Surrey city.

punjab Updated: Jul 23, 2017 19:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Amarinder Singh,Canada,Punjab Congress
In a statement, Punjab Congress leaders said it was evident that a proper inquiry had not been carried out in the case.(HT File Photo)

Alleging a cover-up in the Canadian government’s decision to close its investigations into the brazen threats issued in April by pro-Khalistani groups to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the Punjab Congress has urged the Union government to take up the matter with the Canadian Prime Minister.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) should seek Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s intervention to ensure that those guilty of using the country’s soil to issue open and violent threats to the Punjab CM are not allowed a free run, state Congress leaders Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria and Ramanjit Singh Sikki said, demanding to know the status of the frivolous case filed against Amarinder by a radical body, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), to prevent him from visiting the western nation.

The Canadian government told the ministry of external affairs that there was no threat to Amarinder. In a communication to the Indian authorities, Canada’s department of foreign affairs, trade and development has stated that the investigation had been conducted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The RCMP investigation has determined that there is no evidence of direct physical threat made towards Amarinder. It further stated that there was “not sufficient evidence” to file criminal charges or proceed against anyone.

The Indian high commission in Canada had lodged a formal complaint to global affairs-Canada (Canada’s foreign office) in April following a threat publicly issued to Amarinder by pro-Khalistan elements during a Baisakhi Day event in British Columbia’s Surrey city. The threat was part of the hate speeches made by Sikh radicals operating out of Canada. Videos of the Baisakhi Parade in Surrey on April 22 were sent to the Canadian foreign ministry as proof.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Congress called for activation of all international diplomatic channels to pressure the Canadian government to take steps to check the proliferation of anti-India forces on their soil. “Canada should be asked to reopen the case and get it independently investigated in the interest of justice and fair play, and to ensure that its land is not used for divisive propaganda and spread of hatred,” demanded Congress MLAs.

In a statement, Punjab Congress leaders said it was evident that a proper inquiry had not been carried out in the case. India had also raised objections to the public display of Khalistan floats with images of slain separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other terrorists, pictures of AK-47s and photographs of former and serving army and police officers who are on the hit list of Sikh radicals. Reports said the Canadian provincial police and security agencies were present when all this happened.

It was strange that despite all this happening right under their nose, the Canadian authorities had failed to find “sufficient evidence” against the perpetrators trying to whip up anti-India and anti-Amarinder passions, said the Congress leaders.

The rabble-rousing propaganda of the Khalistani supporters active in Canada has been continuously growing since more than two years now, the Congress leaders said, recalling that Amarinder was forced to cancel his Canada visit last year following the frivolous complaint and case lodged against him by the SFJ.

(With IANS inputs)

First Published: Jul 23, 2017 19:51 IST