'Glorification of violence...' India's firm stance against Canada on Khalistani floats in parade

The assassination of Nijjar, a Canadian citizen with Indian roots, occurred on June 18, 2023, outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia.

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India has accused the Canadian government of permitting the “celebration and glorification” of violence and urged Ottawa to cease offering a safe haven to criminal and secessionist elements following a parade in Ontario. The parade in Malton showcased pro-Khalistan sentiments, prompting India to call on the Justin Trudeau administration to halt providing such elements with political space in Canada. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal expressed India’s ongoing concern for the security of its diplomatic representatives in Canada and urged Ottawa to ensure their safety while carrying out their duties without fear.

Renewed Tensions and Calls for Action

The incident has reignited tensions between the two nations, with India emphasising the need for Canada to address the issue promptly. The MEA statement read: “Celebration and glorification of violence should not be a part of any civilised society. Democratic countries which respect the rule of law should not allow intimidation by radical elements in the name of freedom of expression.”

“We continue to remain concerned about the security of our diplomatic representatives in Canada and expect the government of Canada to ensure that they are able to carry out their responsibilities without fear,” Jaiswal said.

India's Firm Denial and Diplomatic Complexities

“We again call upon the Government of Canada to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven and political space in Canada,” he said.

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Prime Minister Trudeau’s allegations in September last year of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Nijjar, a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, was assassinated in Surrey, British Columbia, outside a gurdwara, on June 18, 2023. This incident has added an extra layer of complexity to the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In response to these claims, India has categorically rejected such accusations, labelling them as “absurd” and “motivated”. They firmly deny any role in the extrajudicial killing of Nijjar, whom the Indian government had previously declared a “terrorist” due to his separatist beliefs and activities.