India asks Canada to ensure security at Independence Day celebration events
Concerned over the likelihood of pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan Kashmiri outfits disrupting Independence Day celebrations in Canada, India, for the first time ever, has urged the authorities to ensure security and prevent disruptions. The celebrations are organized by the Indo-Canadian community and it will hold the events for the first time in public since 2019 after the Covid restrictions were relaxed. Making this request, the Indian High Commission also urged the Canadian authorities to provide adequate security to its diplomatic offices in Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver, reports said.
It was the first time India has enlarged its security interest for Independence Day in a request to Canada’s foreign ministry. Besides asking for enhanced security cover for the diplomatic missions, the request also sought such measures for public events where Indian citizens including women and children are likely to be present in large numbers, sources said.
This plea came after India got reports that pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan Kashmiri outfits were planning to disrupt such events. Last year, the non-profit Panorama India organized an event for August 15 in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga and it was marred by protests.
In another such incident, pro-Khalistan elements disrupted a Tiranga rally to mark Republic Day in 2021 in Vancouver. The Indian consulate there was also blockaded by protesters on January 26 last year. The showpiece event this year will be the India Day parade in Toronto, organized by Panorama India, which will include floats from various states and community groups. It will culminate at a public celebration in downtown Toronto. In 2019, this event attracted over 50,000 people of Indian origin. In British Columbia, Indo-Canadian groups are planning a large car rally from the town of Surrey in the Metro Vancouver region.
Pro-Khalistan and pro-Pakistan Kashmir groups in Canada besides in Britain and the US try to influence the Indian diaspora to join their forces but have been met with resistance from the community as well as the law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, a fly-past by a 220 ft-long majestic Indian tricolor, made of Khadi, over the iconic Hudson river and the display of a giant billboard at Times Square are among the highlights of the grand celebrations planned to mark 75 years of India’s Independence in New York this week, reports PTI.
The Federation of Indian Associations NY-NJ-CT-NE (FIA) has planned a plethora of special events to celebrate India’s 75 years of independence –Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav this year. The commemoration will start with the hoisting of the Indian national flag, made of Khadi, at Times Square on August 15. As in previous years, the iconic Empire State Building will also be lit up in hues of Indian tricolor.
The FIA said as part of its grand celebrations to mark 75 years of independence, the diaspora organization will display a giant ‘India Day Parade’ billboard at Times Square on August 15.
Further, a special 220 feet-long Indian tricolor, made of Khadi, will be flown over the Hudson River in New York, the FIA said adding that this will be a one-of-its-kind special fly-past of the “largest Indian tricolor” over the iconic river and will be witnessed by thousands.
The FIA President Kenny Desai announced that the Grand Marshal at FIA’s 40th India Day Parade on August 21 will be Arjun, the Telugu superstar whose movies have been a hit across India. He also expressed happiness and excitement over the largest Khadi Tirangaa to be flown on August 15 over the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Alfonso Browne, NASA astronaut Raja Chari, renowned artists Shankar Mahadevan and Kailash Kher, cricketing legends Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose are among the Guests of Honor for the India Day Parade.
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Canada Kumar should have been deputed to do the job.