Indo-Canadian MP Chandra Arya, who is a leader of Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party, has slammed his own government for not taking action against Khalistani terrorists, as ties between India and Canada have reached the lowest point, and expressed concerned about the safety of Hindus in the country.
In an interview with CBC News, Arya said, "What I am more worried about is the consequence of what happened after the Prime Minister's (Trudeau) statement. The concerns of safety of Hindu-Canadians here. They are feeling fearful."
In his remarks, Arya came down heavily on the tablue parade organised to celebrate the assassination of former Indian PM Indira Gandhi as well as Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun's recent remarks asking Hindus to leave Canada.
Reassure Hindu Canadians by taking action against terrorists: Arya
"The history of the Khalistan movement is filled with violence and killings. Tens and thousands of Hindus and Sikhs have been killed by Khalistani terrorists in the history of the Khalistan movement. Canadians forget the biggest mass killing in history happened 38 years back with the Air India bombing. That was the biggest aviation terrorism act in the world before 9/11," he said.
The Indo-Canadian MP highlighted that such Khalistani terrorists are being worshipped in some places in Canada. Speaking on the tableu parade of Indira Gandhi, Arya remarked, "The killing of a duly-elected Prime Minister of the largest democracy of the world, that was allowed to be displayed and celebrated. Which democratic country, in the name of freedom of expression and speech, allow this thing to happen?"
He also said that Pannun's remarks amount to 'hate crime' that is being done openly and publicly without any consequences, as if "this Khalistani leader is immune to rule of law of this land".
Although he agreed with Trudeau's remarks that any foreign interference in Canada's sovereignty is "unacceptable", he pointed out that strong action needed to be taken against Khalistani oufits operating in the country. "The only way we can reassure Hindu-Canadians is by taking real, concrete action against the people who are supporting terrorism and instilling this fear in the minds of Hindu-Canadians," he said.
The Liberal party MP also commented that a vast majority of Sikhs in Canada oppose the Khalistani movement and are closely associated with Hindu-Canadians. "There is a very great integration of Hindu and Sikh Canadians here. However, a small fraction of the Sikh community are hardcore Khalistani terrorists," he said.
What happened between India and Canada?
India-Canada relations nosedived to the lowest point after Trudeau's allegations in Canadian Parliament of "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Nijjar, who was gunned down in British Columbia's Surrey on June 18.
India angrily rejected the Canadian PM's allegations as "absurd" and "motivated" and expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to a similar move by Ottawa. India also temporarily suspended visa services for Canadian nationals in view of "security threats" and called for a reduction of Canadian diplomats in New Delhi.
India also advised all its nationals in Canada and those contemplating travelling there to exercise "utmost caution" in view of growing anti-India activities and "politically-condoned" hate crimes. The diplomatic standoff between both countries has laid uncertainties over trade relations, as India and Canada recorded a burgeoning bilateral trade for the past few years.
Threats against Hindu-Canadians
A pro-Khalistani organisation Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) released a video message recently warning Hindus living in Canada and asked them to leave the country as soon as possible. "Indo-Hindu leave Canada; go to India. You not only support India, but you are also supporting the suppression of speech and expression of pro-Khalistan Sikhs," SFJ’s legal counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannu said in a video that went viral on social media platforms.
Pannu, a top member of Sikhs for Justice, an outlawed organisation in India, was designated as a wanted terrorist in 2020.
Canada's Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has appealed for calm as Hindu-Canadians face threats to leave the country amid the row, terming the warnings as 'offensive and hateful'.
The department further said that any acts of aggression, hate and incitement of fear against any community "have no place in this country and only serve to divide us". It appealed Canadians to respect one another and follow the rule of law, asserting that all communities deserve to feel safe.
Top Canadian officials and politicians have denounced the “online hate video” and asserted that Hindus are “safe and welcome”.
“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,” said opposition leader Pierre Poilievre.
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 ANI inputs)
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