‘Fear is real’, says Canada Liberal Party MP on SFJ video threatening Hindus | World News - Hindustan Times
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‘Fear is real’, says Canada Liberal Party MP on SFJ video threatening Hindus

Sep 24, 2023 10:19 AM IST

Hinduphobic activity has surged in Canada since last summer with at least a dozen temples desecrated with graffiti or anti-India posters by those pushing the so-called Khalistan Referendum. Law enforcement has yet to report a single arrest in this connection

Even as he came under attack from pro-Khalistan elements, Chandra Arya, an MP from the ruling Liberal Party, once again stressed that the “fear” that Hindus in Canada feel is “real” after a video from the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice or SFJ, asking them to leave the country.

Liberal Party MP Chandra Arya (ANI Photo)
Liberal Party MP Chandra Arya (ANI Photo)

In an interview with the outlet CBC News, he referred to commentator Andrew Coyne’s column in the daily, the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, in which he wrote, “The risk of ethnic and sectarian bloodshed in Canada is real.”

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Arya said he feared the bloodshed Coyne talked about “is going to Hindu Canadians’ blood.” Arya was the first prominent Canadian politician to raise the matter of the threat to the community when he flagged it in a speech in the House of Commons.

Since then, he has been attacked by pro-Khalistan elements on social media, including, as has become the pattern, a number either pro-Pakistan or based there. “Since no action is being taken against the celebration of terrorism, praising of terrorists, they have got emboldened,” Arya said.

The video was released by SFJ’s general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun soon after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in the House on Monday that there were “credible allegations” of a potential link between Indian agents and the killing of Nijjar, SFJ’s principal figure in British Columbia.

Since then, many Canadian politicians, including Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre and members of the Cabinet like Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc have condemned the video. However, Trudeau has yet to address the matter and no action has been taken on what has been described as “hate crime.”

On Friday, Conservative Party MP Melissa Lantsman visited Hindu temples in the GTA. She tweeted on Saturday, “We heard your message loud and clear. Conservatives condemn the hateful comments against you & stand with you.”

She also called upon Canadians to support a petition before the House to recognise Hinduphobia in the glossary of terms in the Human Rights Code to describe anti-Hindu prejudice and discrimination. The petition, e-4507, which she sponsored, has seen signatures leap in the past 72 hours, doubling from 9000 to over 18,000 by Saturday evening.

Hinduphobic activity has surged in Canada since last summer with at least a dozen temples desecrated with graffiti or anti-India posters by those pushing the so-called Khalistan Referendum. Law enforcement has yet to report a single arrest in this connection.

Arya also said that the extra-judicial killing of Nijjar on Canadian soil was “absolutely unacceptable”.

“I look forward to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) arresting the culprits and laying charges,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Ontario Gurdwaras Committee and the British Columbia Gurdwaras Council have asked all Canadian parties to “be unequivocally clear” in their opposition to the potential link of India to Nijjar’s murder. He was gunned down in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, which he led.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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