- Sputnik India, 1920
Canada-India Row
A major diplomatic row has erupted between India and Canada after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that Indian “agents” could have been behind the killing of pro-Khalistan terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Khalistan Separatists Recreate Ex-Indian PM’s Assassination at Consulate in Canada

© AFP 2023 GEOFF ROBINSSikhs protest for the independence of Khalistan in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023.
Sikhs protest for the independence of Khalistan in front of the Indian Consulate in Toronto, Canada, on July 8, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 07.06.2024
New Delhi has maintained that it remains concerned about the safety of its diplomats in Canada. Calls to violence by pro-Khalistan activists against Indian diplomats have become a regular occurrence, in violation of international norms.
Pro-Khalistan activists on Thursday placed a controversial float depicting the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the Indian Consulate in Vancouver on the anniversary of 'Operation Blue Star', according to videos and posts on social media.

One of the videos shows pro-Khalistan activists desecrating an Indian and a Russian flag. It also shows a controversial banner targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as activists burning replicas of the Indian Constitution.

Russia's Backing of India Angers Pro-Khalistan Activists in US & Canada

In May, pro-Khalistan activists in the US staged a demonstration in Los Angeles after Moscow backed New Delhi over American allegations that an Indian agent was involved in a foiled "murder-for-hire" plot to kill US-Canadian citizen Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Pannun, a designated terrorist in India, is the counsel of US-based banned group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ). New Delhi has announced a high-level committee to probe the American claims.
At a regular conference in Moscow on 8 May, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had rejected US allegation indicting Indian "agents" for a foiled assassination plot against Pannun, who is a U.S. citizen.

"Based on the information available to us, Washington has yet to furnish any credible evidence implicating Indian citizens in the alleged plot to assassinate Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Engaging in speculation without evidence is unacceptable," Zakharova had responded to a question.

India’s Concerns Around Pro-Khalistan Separatism in Canada

New Delhi has often expressed concerns about the "operating space" provided to pro-Khalistan, entities in Canadian politics.
In May, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) condemned a float and "violent imagery" targeting Prime Minister Modi at a Sikh procession in Ontario.

"We again call upon the Government of Canada to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven and political space in Canada," MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal claimed at the time.

Ties between New Delhi and Ottawa have been strained since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau linked the killing of Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, to the "agents" of Indian government. The allegation was made in the Canadian Parliament.
However, New Delhi has said that Ottawa is yet to provide proof to back the allegations.

Dive into the History

The pro-Khalistan demonstration was held on the 40th anniversary of ‘Operation Blue Star’ in June 1984, when Indian Army stormed the premises of Golden Temple to flush out Sikh separatism Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale and his armed supporters who had been camping at the holy shrine.
The military action inside Golden Temple, ordered by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, triggered anger among many Sikhs, ultimately leading to the assassination of Gandhi by her own Sikh bodyguards in October 1984.
Following Gandhi’s killing, deadly anti-Sikh riots erupted in Delhi and several parts of India.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.09.2023
Canada-India Row
US Supports Canada's Stance in Khalistan Row Against India: White House
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