The Justin Trudeau government must protect Canadian Hindus from threats being made by Khalistani terrorists on its soil, top sources in the Indian government told News18 on Thursday as a diplomatic row over killing of a Khalistani separatist leader threatened to snowball into a major confrontation.
Officials, requesting anonymity, cited threats made by pro-Khalistani groups for Canadian Hindus to leave the country.
“Terrorists are threatening Hindus to leave Canada. These threats have been issued by terrorists wanted in multiple NIA cases in India. They are dividing Hindus and Sikhs who have been living peacefully in Canada for a long time now,” an official said, adding that Hindus must immediately report such threats to the Indian High Commission or consulates.
“All Hindus should remain calm and vigilant and refrain from any reaction. Majority of the Sikhs don’t support the actions of these Khalistani groups and want to live in harmony,” the official added, urging Canada to stop “glorifying terror activities and supporting terror groups”.
“We are talking at the highest levels and are hopeful of a solution soon,” the source said.
On Wedesnday, in a strongly-worded advisory, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) referred to “threats” targeting Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community that oppose the “anti-India agenda”, and asked Indian nationals to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada which have seen such incidents.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegations of a “potential” involvement of Indian government agents in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June unleashed a diplomatic row with India rejecting the charges as “absurd” and “motivated” and kicking out a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official.
In the advisory, the MEA asked Indian students in Canada to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant.
It is also learnt that India is in touch with a number of its strategic partners in the West over the issue.
“In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,” the MEA said in the advisory, in an indication of hardening of New Delhi’s position on the row.
“Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda. Indian nationals are, therefore, advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents,” it said.
India-Canada ties have come under some strain in the last few months in view of increasing activities of the pro-Khalistani elements in the North American country. India believes the Trudeau government is not addressing its genuine concerns.