Glorification of violence should not be part of any civilized society: India to Canada

Justin Trudeau, Narendra Modi
Justin Trudeau, Narendra Modi

New Delhi | India on Tuesday accused the Canadian government of allowing "celebration and glorification" of violence and called on Ottawa to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven in Canada after a parade in Ontario's Malton displayed pro-Khalistan sentiments.

In its reaction to the 'Nagar Kirtan' parade that featured a controversial "float", India called upon the Justin Trudeau government to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a "safe haven" and political space in Canada.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said India continued to remain concerned about the security of its diplomatic representatives in Canada and expect Ottawa to ensure that they are able to carry out their responsibilities without fear.

The controversial parade was organised on Sunday.

"As you are aware, we have repeatedly raised our strong concerns regarding the violent imagery being used by extremist elements in Canada against our political leadership," he said.

"Last year, a float depicting the assassination of our former prime minister was used in a procession," he said.

Jaiswal said posters of Indian diplomats have also been put out across Canada threatening violence against them.

"Celebration and glorification of violence should not be a part of any civilized society. Democratic countries which respect the rule of law should not allow intimidation by radical elements in the name of freedom of expression," he said.

"We continue to remain concerned about the security of our diplomatic representatives in Canada and expect the government of Canada to ensure that they are able to carry out their responsibilities without fear," Jaiswal said.

"We again call upon the Government of Canada to stop providing criminal and secessionist elements a safe haven and political space in Canada," he said.

The ties between India and Canada came under severe strain following Prime Minister Trudeau's allegations in September last year of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistan separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

New Delhi rejected Trudeau's charges as "absurd".

Last week, Canadian authorities charged three Indian nationals with the murder of Nijjar. It is reported that they entered Canada on student visas.

Karan Brar, 22, Kamalpreet Singh, 22, and Karanpreet Singh, 28, all Indian nationals residing in Edmonton, were charged on Friday with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Days after Trudeau's allegations in September, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity. Subsequently, Canada withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

India has been asserting that its "core issue" with Canada remained that of the space given to separatists, terrorists and anti-India elements in that country.

Following Trudeau's allegations last year, India temporarily suspended issuance of visas to Canadian citizens. The visa services were resumed several weeks later.

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