Posters inciting violence against Indian diplomats again put up in Canada | World News - Hindustan Times
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Posters inciting violence against Indian diplomats again put up in Canada

Jul 09, 2023 07:05 AM IST

The fresh poster comes days after the Canadian government described as “unacceptable” previous posters — titled “Kill India” — circulated by banned group Sikhs.

Toronto A poster targeting Indian diplomats in Canada has surfaced outside a temple in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), even as security concerns remained palpable ahead of a proposed protest rally to Indian missions called by pro-Khalistan elements on Saturday, people familiar with the development said.

Sikhs for the independence of Khalistan protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday.(AFP)
Sikhs for the independence of Khalistan protest in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday.(AFP)

The poster, titled “War Zone”, outside the Bharat Mata Mandir in Brampton was placed in the early hours of Friday local time and discovered by temple volunteers in the morning. The poster was subsequently removed, a temple official told HT. Similar posters also appeared at other locations in GTA on Friday, officials said. The proposed “Khalistan Freedom Rally” is being organised in the name of Khalistan Tiger Force chief and proscribed terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was murdered in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey in British Columbia on June 18.

Also Read: Indian-origin MP slams pro-Khalistani posters in Canada: ‘Snakes raising their heads’

The poster outside the temple carried photographs of India’s high commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, consul general of India in Toronto, Apoorva Srivastava, and consul general of India in Vancouver, Manish. It accused the top Indian diplomats and the Indian high commission for Nijjar’s killing, even as the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), investigating the case, has not ascribed any motive behind the murder yet.

Physical police presence has been enhanced at various locations, a Canadian official said, declining to be named.

The fresh poster has come days after the Canadian government described as “unacceptable” previous set of posters — titled “Kill India” — issued and circulated online by banned group Sikhs for Justice.

Also Read: Canada PM says govt takes surge in Khalistani activity ‘extremely seriously’

“Canada takes its obligations under Vienna Conventions regarding the safety of diplomats very seriously. Canada remains in close contact with Indian officials in light of some of the promotional material circulating online regarding a protest planned for July 8th, which are unacceptable,” Canada’s minister of foreign affairs Mélanie Joly said in a statement on Twitter on Monday evening.

India has sought strengthened security measures for its personnel and missions.

Over the past few days, India has been particularly irked by Canada’s response to activities of pro-Khalistan groups, and Canadian envoy Cameron Mackay was summoned to the external affairs ministry July 3 and served a demarche over the threat to Indian diplomats.

“Our sense is that these posters inciting violence against our diplomats and our diplomatic premises abroad are unacceptable and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a group of Indo-Canadian citizens have planned a march to India’s consulate in Toronto on Saturday.

Arvind Mishra from Brampton said, “What would they do if people held rallies under the banner of Al Qaeda or ISIS (Islamic State) with posters of Osama bin Laden or the ISIS chief?” Mishra asked.

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