India objects to purported Sikh separatist slogans at event attended by Trudeau | News on Conflict

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The Canadian deputy high commissioner was summoned by New Delhi following reports of separatist slogans being raised at an event attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. India expressed deep concern and strong protest at the actions allowed to continue unchecked at the event, highlighting the political space given to separatism, extremism, and violence in Canada. The Indian foreign affairs ministry warned that such expressions not only impact India-Canada relations but also encourage violence and criminality in Canada.
Trudeau, speaking at the event in Toronto to mark Vaisakhi, reassured the Sikh community of their rights and freedoms, pledging to defend them against hatred and discrimination. Bilateral diplomatic relations between India and Canada suffered last year after Trudeau suggested Indian agents may have been linked to the murder of Canadian Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Nijjar, who supported a separate Khalistani state, was shot dead outside a Sikh temple in Surrey.
The Sikh separatist movement, which began in the late 1970s, led to deadly violence in Punjab before largely dying down. However, pro-Khalistan groups have remained active internationally, causing tension between India and countries with significant Sikh populations like Canada. India has denied any involvement in Nijjar’s murder but remains vigilant against separatist activities.

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