Days after the video of a pro-Khalistan group threatened Hindus in Canada to leave the country went viral, top officials and politicians have denounced the “online hate video” and asserted that Hindus are “safe and welcome”.
However, neither of the politicians, including those from the government body, singled out the video by name, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Dominic LeBlanc, Canada’s minister of public safety, democratic institutions, and intergovernmental affairs, said that the “circulation of an online hate video targeting Hindu Canadians runs contrary to the values we hold dear as Canadians.”
“There is no place for acts of aggression, hate, intimidation or incitement of fear,” LeBlanc posted on X, formerly Twitter.
The video that went viral on social media showed Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of Sikh for Justice, a pro-Khalistan group, and a lawyer based in New York, openly asking Hindus in Canada to “go back to India”.
According to the country’s public broadcaster, the Public Safety Department of Canada called the video “offensive and hateful”.
“Acts of aggression, hate, intimidation or incitement of fear have no place in this country and only serve to divide us,” the Department said in a separate post on X.
“We urge all Canadians to respect one another and follow the rule of law. Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities,” the CBC said, further quoting the Department’s post on X.
The video went viral days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged on September 18 regarding “potential” involvement of the Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar on June 18 in British Columbia. India rejected the allegations calling them “absurd and motivated”.
India also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a reciprocal move to the expulsion of an Indian diplomat in Canada. India had designated Nijjar a terrorist in 2020.
LeBlanc’s sentiment was echoed by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.
The CBC quoted Poilievre’s own statement on X, wherein he noted Hindus have been the target of hateful comments in “recent days” and added that every Canadian deserves to live “without fear” and “feel welcomed in their community.”
“Conservatives condemn these comments against our Hindu neighbours and friends.
Hindus have made invaluable contributions to every part of our country and will always be welcome here,” Poilievre said.
Singh said Hindus in Canada deserve to be here.
“Anyone that suggests otherwise does not reflect the values of inclusion, compassion and kindness we hold close as Canadians,” CBC said quoting Singh’s post on X.
Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan also posted on X, “To Hindu Canadians and Indians from all backgrounds: Anyone who says you do not deserve to be safe & welcomed in your home, does not embody the values of freedom and kindness we hold dear as Canadians. Do not let others de-legitimise or question your place and love for Canada.”
(With PTI inputs)