EAM S Jaishankar rebukes Canada over ‘celebration’ of Indira Gandhi’s assassination
India on Thursday took strong exception to visuals of a float in the Canadian city of Brampton celebrating the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by Khalistan supporters and said it was “vote bank politics.” India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday also hit out at Canada for giving space to separatists and extremist elements. Jaishankar said Canada allowing anti-India elements to operate from its soil is not good for the bilateral relationship as well as for itself.
India formally expressed its displeasure to the Canadian government on Wednesday over the incident. India’s High Commission in Ottawa sent a formal note to Global Affairs Canada (GAC), describing the occurrence as “not acceptable”.
“I think there is a bigger issue involved. And the bigger issue involved really is the space that Canada has continuously and frankly we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics, why anybody would do this,” he said.
“Because if you look at their history, you would imagine that they learn from history and they would not like to repeat that history. It is not only one incident, however, egregious it may be,” Jaishankar said. “I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence and I think it is not good for relationships and not good for Canada,” he added.
A video has emerged on social media that showed a float depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It was reportedly part of a parade that was organised by some alleged Khalistani elements in Brampton.
Canadian High Commissioner in India Cameron MacKay tweeted that there is no place in Canada for “hate or for the glorification of violence”.
“I am appalled by reports of an event in Canada that celebrated the assassination of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. There is no place in Canada for hate or for the glorification of violence. I categorically condemn these activities,” he said.
The float was reportedly part of a 5-km long parade taken out by Khalistani supporters in Canada’s Brampton. The video, whose authenticity is to be verified, is believed to be from a parade taken out in Brampton by Khalistan supporters on June 4, just days before the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star.
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