MEA Summons Canadian Envoy After 'Khalistan Zindabad' Slogans Raised At Toronto Event Attended By PM Trudeau

MEA Summons Canadian Envoy After 'Khalistan Zindabad' Slogans Raised At Toronto Event Attended By PM Trudeau

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) described the shouting of the slogans at the event that was personally addressed by Trudeau as "disturbing" and said it illustrated once again the political space that has been given in Canada to "separatism, extremism and violence".

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 09:25 AM IST
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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Seen Smiling After 'Khalistan Zindabad' Slogans Get Raised At Sikh Community Event In Toronto; Video Viral |

New Delhi: India on Monday summoned the Canadian deputy high commissioner and lodged a strong protest with him over raising of pro-'Khalistan' slogans at a public event in Toronto that was attended by Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several other leaders.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) described the shouting of the slogans at the event that was personally addressed by Trudeau as "disturbing" and said it illustrated once again the political space that has been given in Canada to "separatism, extremism and violence".

It said the actions not only impact India-Canada relations but also encourage a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens.

"The Canadian deputy high commissioner was today summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs with regard to the raising of separatist slogans on 'Khalistan' at an event which was being personally addressed by the prime minister of Canada," the MEA said.

The summoning of Deputy High Commissioner Stewart Wheeler came a day after the event in Toronto. In his address at the event, Trudeau reaffirmed Canada's unwavering commitment to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the Sikh community.

"The Government of India's deep concern and strong protest was conveyed at such disturbing actions being allowed to continue unchecked at the event," the MEA said.

"This illustrates once again the political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism and violence," it said in a statement.

It further added: "Their continued expressions not only impact India-Canada relations but also encourage a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens."

Trudeau's Allegations And Killing Of Hardeep Singh Nijjar

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Trudeau's allegations in September of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia. New Delhi rejected Trudeau's charges as "absurd".

Days after Trudeau's allegations, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity. Subsequently, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

India has been asserting that its "core issue" with Canada remained that of the space given to separatists, terrorists and anti-India elements in that country. Following Trudeau's allegations last year, India temporarily suspended issuance of visas to Canadian citizens. The visa services were resumed several weeks later.

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