A US-based Hindu organisation has urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respect the right of his country's people to protest peacefully.
"I would be remiss if I didn't start by recognising the news coming out of Canada about the protests and the draconian measures being taken to counter them. The situation is concerning, and we are all very worried about our family and friends," said Utsav Chakrabarti, executive director of Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective or HinduPACT.
In a statement, HinduPACT urged Trudeau to respect the right of the Canadian people to peacefully protest.
The right to peaceful protest is fundamental in any democracy and the promulgation of an emergency order to quell voices of dissent sets, for the first time, a tragic precedent for Canada, it said.
HinduPACT also urged Trudeau and New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh not to conflate the "Swastika", an ancient and auspicious symbol for Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and many indigenous communities around the world, with the "Hakenkreuz", a 20th century Nazi symbol of hate.
Both Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh have made statements in the recent past, accusing protesters of "waving Swastikas".
"We believe this misrepresentation will lead to hate cries against Hindus and Sikhs. In the past month alone, six Hindu temples were vandalised and looted in Canada," he said.