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Amid diplomatic tensions, Canada celebrates Diwali, hoists Hindu flag on Parliament Hill

The Diwali celebration in Canada came at a time when the relations between India and Ottawa reached a new low after PM Justin Trudeau alleged Indian agents were behind the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Ajeet Kumar Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Ottawa (Canada) Updated on: November 06, 2023 18:37 IST
A glimpse of the Diwali celebration held in Canada.
Image Source : X/@ARYACANADA A glimpse of the Diwali celebration held in Canada.

Amid diplomatic tensions between India and Canada, a grand Diwali celebration was hosted by Indo-Canadian parliamentarian Chandrasekhar Arya at Parliament Hill on Sunday. During the celebration, he also hoisted the Hindu flag with the sacred symbol "Aum". Arya, who hails from Karnataka, said that the Diwali celebration organised by him saw a great turnout of Indians from several Canadian cities such as Ottawa, the Greater Toronto Area, and Montreal.

"I was pleased to host Diwali on Parliament Hill. We also used this opportunity to raise the flag of the Hindu sacred symbol Aum on Parliament Hill," he said in a post on X.

Parliament Hill is home to Canada's federal government, where representatives from across Canada gather to make laws that affect the lives of every Canadian. "Great turnout with participants from Ottawa, Greater Toronto Area, Montreal and many other places.

The event was supported by 67 Hindu and Indo-Canadian organisations across Canada," the 60-year-old lawmaker said.

"The added pleasure this year was Diwali is also part of the Hindu Heritage Month across Canada. My sincere thanks to all those who attended, volunteers and artists of excellent cultural performances at the event," he added.

The Diwali celebrations were held as bilateral ties between India and Canada are under severe strain following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations in September of "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in the Canadian town of Surrey in June. India had designated Nijjar as a terrorist in 2020.

India-Canada row

It is worth mentioning that Nijjar, an Indian-origin but Canadian citizen, was shot by unidentified men outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18. Nearly three months after the killing, Trudeau abruptly appeared in the Canadian Parliament and alleged India's involvement in the killing of the Sikh separatist leader.

This triggered a massive uproar in India as well as Canada, especially in the diplomatic arena. At first, India halted visas for Canadians and later snatched the diplomatic immunity of at least 41 diplomats in New Delhi. This prompted Ottawa to call back their envoys from India.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: 'Where is evidence, where is the conclusion of the probe?', Indian envoy asks Canada over killing of Nijjar

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