NEW DELHI: India on Friday strongly objected to Canadian Parliament’s move to observe a minute of silence in honor of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
During a press briefing, the ministry of external affairs stated, “We naturally oppose any moves giving political space to extremism and advocacy of violence.”
The remark comes days after Canadian House of Commons marking the first death anniversary of Nijjar, who was designated as a terrorist by the Indian government.Nijjar was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18, 2023. Canadian police have arrested four Indian nationals in connection with the murder. Four people of Punjabi origin were arrested over the last few weeks for their alleged involvement in the murder.
The Indian consulate general in Vancouver responded almost immediately with a reminder of the country’s fight against terror and an open invitation to the diaspora to “a show of solidarity against terrorism” at a memorial service this weekend for the 329 victims of the 1985 Kanishka bombing.
The Montreal-New Delhi Air India ‘Kanishka’ Flight 182 exploded 45 minutes before it was scheduled to land at London’s Heathrow Airport on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board, most of them Canadians of Indian descent. The bombing was blamed on Sikh militants in retaliation to ‘Operation Bluestar’.
India’s ties with Canada have remained strained over the issue of Khalistan terrorists after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged in September last year of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar. India has dismissed Trudeau’s allegations as “absurd and motivated”. India has been maintaining that the main issue between the two countries is that of Canada giving space to pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity.