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Business News/ News / India/  Nijjar killing row: ‘Canada has climate of violence for…’, says Jaishankar
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Nijjar killing row: ‘Canada has climate of violence for…’, says Jaishankar

India's External Affairs Minister says there is a climate of violence and intimidation against Indian diplomats in Canada.

India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. (Reuters)Premium
India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. (Reuters)

In Canada, there was a climate of violence and an atmosphere of intimidation against Indian diplomats, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday in Washington. 

"Because there is freedom of speech, to make threats and intimidate diplomats, I don't think that's acceptable," the minister said as quoted by Reuters. 

The relations between India and Canada have been tense due to the presence of Khalistani terrorists in Canada who have kept alive the movement for Khalistanis or the demand for an independent Sikh state to be carved out of India. 

Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that Indian agents may have had a role in the June murder of Khalistan terrorist and Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was labeled a "terrorist" by India.

However, India dismissed the allegations as absurd. Washington has urged India to cooperate with Canada in the murder probe. Jaishankar also held discussions with top US officials on Friday amid a brewing diplomatic crisis between India and Canada.

In 2018, PM Trudeau assured India that Canada would not support anyone trying to revive a separatist movement in India, while repeatedly saying that he respects the right to free speech and assembly of protesters to demonstrate, Reuters reports. 

Canada is home to an influential Sikh community, and Indian leaders say some fringe groups there remain sympathetic to the cause of an independent Sikh state. The cause hardly has any support in India.

The demand for Khalistan has surfaced many times in India, most prominently during a violent insurgency in the 1980s and 1990s which paralyzed the state of Punjab for over a decade.

The insurgency killed tens of thousands of people and the Khalistan movement is considered a security threat by the Indian government. Sikh militants were blamed for the 1985 bombing of an Air India Boeing 747 flying from Canada to India in which all 329 people on board were killed.

Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by two Sikh bodyguards after she allowed the storming of the holiest Sikh temple, aimed at flushing out Sikh separatists.


(With Reuters inputs)

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Updated: 30 Sep 2023, 06:15 AM IST
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