Probe demanded into Canada Sikh parade

Updated on May 12, 2007 12:01 PM IST
Rights groups seek probe into a parade that hailed the AI bombers as heroes.
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PTI | By, Toronto

Canada-based human rights groups have demanded a public inquiry into a Sikh parade in Surrey in which Air India bombing mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar and several Sikh assassins were glorified as martyrs.

Baba Saheb Ubale, former Chairman of the Ontario Human Rights Commission said that a public inquiry must be instituted by the federal government into the entire episode and the guilty must be punished according to law.

Former Premier of British Columbia Ujjal Dosanjh said that it is "absolutely unacceptable" that extremist elements were allowed to parade through the streets of Surrey with floats covered in photographs of dead leaders of the Babbar Khalsa and the International Sikh Youth Federation, both banned terrorist organisations.

The fact that Sikh separatist slogans were also chanted by parade organisers is also troubling, Dosanjh said, given the violence in Canada linked to the Khalistan movement in the 1980s.

Politicians of all levels of government attended the April seven event, which drew a crowd estimated at 100,000.

Dosanjh, now a member of parliament, said there must be provisions under the Anti-Terrorism Act or the criminal code that could be used to prosecute those who were celebrating terrorism or wearing shirts with the logos of the banned organisations.

As set out in full in the Criminal Code of Canada, it is an offence to knowingly participate in or contribute to, directly or indirectly, any activity of a terrorist group, he said while making a plea for police investigation.

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