Watch video: Khalistani protestors burn Indian flag, constitution in Canada

Placards demanded recognition of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a "genocide," a claim disputed by the Indian government.

Mayank Kasyap
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Courtesy: X/meghupdates

New Delhi: Pro-Khalistani Sikh separatist groups staged a protest in front of the Indian consulate in Vancouver, British Columbia, sparking outrage and raising concerns about ongoing tensions. The demonstration targeted not only the Indian government but also India's ex-PM Indira Gandhi and the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Effigies depict assassination, glorify militants

Protesters displayed effigies of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, depicting her with bullet wounds, alongside effigies of her Sikh bodyguards, shown wielding weapons. Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for ordering Operation Bluestar, a military action that stormed the Golden Temple, the holiest site in Sikhism, to flush out militants.

Canadian Sikhs demand recognition of Anti-Sikh violence

The protest, linked to the Khalistan movement advocating for an independent Sikh state, highlighted grievances held by some members of the Canadian Sikh community. Placards demanded recognition of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a "genocide," a claim disputed by the Indian government.

Indian flag, constitution burned

The demonstration also featured disturbing elements. Signs reading "KILL MODI politics" targeted current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while an image of Talwinder Singh Parmar, the mastermind behind the deadly Air India bombings that killed 329 people, was glorified as a "martyr." Indian flags, the Indian constitution, and even a Russian flag were desecrated and burned.

Video captures pro-Khalistan narrative

A video circulating online shows a young girl claiming, "The Indian state hates the Sikhs... there's no other story but that the Indian state wants to erase Sikhs." The video also depicts statues of the Sikh bodyguards who assassinated Indira Gandhi, further fueling tensions.

Canadian authorities maintain order

Local Canadian police were present to maintain order during the protest. While the full extent of their response is not yet clear, their presence ensured the demonstration remained relatively peaceful.