Indian missions in Canada brace for protests on anniversary of Nijjar’s killing | World News - Hindustan Times
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Indian missions in Canada brace for protests on anniversary of Nijjar’s killing

Jun 16, 2024 05:14 PM IST

The secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has announced plans to hold a ‘Citizens Court of Canada’ in front of the Indian Consulate in Vancouver on that day

Toronto: India’s missions in Canada are bracing for protests on Tuesday, which will mark the anniversary of the killing of pro-Khalistan figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18 last year.

A photo of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen during a news conference providing an update from the Sikh community about Nijjar's homicide from June 18, 2023, in Surrey, British Columbia on May 3. (AP)
A photo of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is seen during a news conference providing an update from the Sikh community about Nijjar's homicide from June 18, 2023, in Surrey, British Columbia on May 3. (AP)

The secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has already called for a ‘Citizens Court of Canada’ in front of the Indian Consulate in Vancouver on that day. Nijjar was SFJ’s principal organiser for the so-called Khalistan Referendum.

The Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey, where Nijjar was the head till his death, has also announced special prayers to commemorate that day.

India has already sensitised Canadian authorities about the requirement for enhanced protection for its missions on Tuesday, a senior official said. Both the diplomatic security personnel and local law enforcement have, so far, prevented any major disruptive event from occurring during the several protests that have been held outside the High Commission in Ottawa and the Consulates in Vancouver and Toronto, since the killing.

It has, in fact, been almost a year in a state of siege for India’s diplomats, who have been targeted by name and their posters displayed in connection with the killing.

That started soon after the killing, when on July 8 last year, the so-called Khalistan Freedom Rally was held to protest the death and posters were circulated with the images of India’s High Commission to Ottawa Sanjay Kumar Verma and the then Consul Generals in Vancouver and Toronto.

The poster carried the words ‘Kill India’ along with violent imagery and the photographs of India’s seniormost diplomats in Canada, describing them as the ‘Faces of Shaheed Nijjar’s killer.” Various iterations of such posters have since appeared at the multiple protests that have been over the months since, later targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Ministers in his Cabinet and senior Government officials as well.

This version, the ‘Wanted’ banners, are being placed in Surrey by SFJ supporters ahead of June 18. Canadian authorities have ensured increased security measures for the diplomats from the time the threats first emerged against them.

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