Image Source : X Canada’s Parliament officially observed a moment of silence as MPs stood for Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Ottawa: In a “not” surprising move, the Canadian Parliament observed silence on Tuesday in the memory of the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar, a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, was killed on June 18 last year outside a Gurudwara.  The murder turned into diplomatic chaos between the two nations following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s explosive allegations against the Indian government. Trudeau alleged that India was allegedly involved in the killing of Nijjar– a claim New Delhi termed “baseless”. The allegations led the relations between India and Ottawa to nosedive a historic low. The murder is being probed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Earlier in May this year, at least four Indian nationals were arrested in the murder case.

However, India has officially been maintaining that it has not received any specific information relating to the case from Canada. New Delhi has been maintaining that the main issue has been that of Canada giving space to pro-Khalistani elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity.

What did India say?

In the last few months, India has been expressing concern over the security of its diplomats in Canada and calling on Ottawa to ensure that they can carry out their responsibilities without fear.  There have been instances of pro-Khalistani elements threatening to harm Indian diplomats.  Days after Trudeau’s allegations last year, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity.  Canada subsequently withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

India’s strong message to Canada 

Meanwhile, in response to Canada, the Indian Consulate General in Vancouver, in a strong message to Canada, announced a memorial service to pay tribute to the bombing of Air India Kanishka flight in which at least 329 passengers were killed. “India stands at the forefront of countering the menace of terrorism and works closely with all nations to tackle this global threat. 23 June 2024 marks the 39th Anniversary of the cowardly terrorist bombing of Air India flight 182 (Kanishka), in which 329 innocent victims, including 86 children, lost their lives in one of the most heinous terror-related air disasters in the history of civil aviation,” the Consulate General posted on X.

It is worth noting that in 1985, at an altitude of 31,000 feet, Canadian Sikh terrorists detonated a bomb aboard an Air India Flight en route from Montreal to London. This tragic incident claimed the lives of 329 passengers, including 268 Canadians, 27 Britons, and 24 Indians, marking it as one of the deadliest acts of aviation terrorism in history. Since then, India has been raising the issue of soaring extremism in Canada amid the fact high-profile criminals and drug mafias from Punjab use Canadian soil safe heaven. However, Ottawa denied claims despite rising gang wars in Canada.  

(With inputs from agency)

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