Canadian ministers condemn float depicting Indira Gandhi assassination in Vancouver | World News - Hindustan Times
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Canadian ministers condemn float depicting Indira Gandhi assassination in Vancouver

Jun 09, 2024 08:00 AM IST

India has lodged an official diplomatic complaint with Global Affairs Canada, the nation’s foreign ministry

Toronto: On Thursday, Canadian ministers condemned a float featuring the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, which was part of a protest by pro-Khalistan elements staged in front of the Indian Consulate in Vancouver.

Float featuring the assassination of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in front of the Indian Consulate in Vancouver on Thursday.
Float featuring the assassination of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in front of the Indian Consulate in Vancouver on Thursday.

In a post on X, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc said, “This week, there were reports of imagery depicting the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Vancouver. The promotion of violence is never acceptable in Canada.”

That view was echoed by the Cabinet colleague, President of the Treasury Board, Anita Anand, who stated, “The use of violent imagery in relation to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is disturbing and unacceptable as it promotes and perpetuates hate and violence.”

India has already made a formal diplomatic complaint in this regard to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry.

Liberal Party MP Chandra Arya such depictions by pro-Khalistan separatists were “attempting to instil fear of violence in Hindu-Canadians.”

He called upon Canadian law enforcement to take “immediate action” in this matter.

“With picture of guns readily being used to convey the message may lead to something real if this is left to continue unchallenged. The prominence of bindi on the forehead of Indira Gandhi is to make doubly sure the intended targets are Hindus in Canada,” he added.

The float was part of protests on the 40th anniversary of Operation Bluestar, when the Indian Army stored the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar to flush out Khalistani extremists including their leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The call for a lockdown of India’s mission to Canada had been given by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice.

While protests were also organized at Consulate in Toronto, such floats did not appear there, though each venue had protestors carrying ‘Khalistan” flags and shouting anti-India slogans.

Gurpatwant Pannun, SFJ’s general counsel, warned that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a “target” for “transnational terrorism” and the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18 last year.

The float featured an effigy of Indira Gandhi, showing her riddled with bullets including through the forehead and also displayed her assassins.

Last year, on June 4, a float featuring the assassination of late Prime Minister was part of a martyrdom day event in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA. Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by two of her own bodyguards at her official residence. With assassination was followed by the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and elsewhere

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