India Demands “Ample Deployment” Of Security At Its Mission In Canada

Highlights:

  • The Indian request was conveyed through a note verbale, which is an official diplomatic communique
  • The senior official affirmed that they have communicated “precise and specific information” concerning the threats
  • The officials remarked that assurance had been obtained in the said matter

India has formally urged Canada for “ample deployment” of security at its mission in the country, a year after India’s consulate in Vancouver was obstructed by protestors and pro-Khalistan speeches delivered at the site, to ascertain there is no repeat of such disruption. The Indian request was conveyed through a note verbale, which is an official diplomatic communique, sought by India’s High Commission to Ottawa to Canada’s foreign ministry, Global Affairs Canada.

A senior official affirmed to a media outlet that they have communicated “precise and specific information” concerning the threats to the missions in Canada. The official added, “We have already conveyed more blatant threats we’ve received to our Canadian colleagues and asked them to ensure nothing untoward happens.”

Furthermore, there is a rising concern this year as elections in Punjab are due, and there have been open statements about disturbing Republic Day functions in Vancouver from the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), while another hardline group has proposed a car rally to the consulate in Toronto and a demonstration in front of the High Commission in Ottawa.

The officials remarked that assurance had been obtained that Canadian law enforcement charged with diplomatic security will “enhance patrolling, deploy static and plainclothes personnel. SFJ’s general counsel Gurpatwant Pannun has noted that activists supporting its Khalistan Referendum have been directed to “Raise Khalistan- Block Tiranga” on January 26 at India’s mission, including that in Vancouver, which has been assigned to Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

In November 2021, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) lodged a charge sheet against Nijjar before a special court in New Delhi, under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, concerning the planning terror act in India. However, Nijjar and the SFJ have rejected any involvement in terrorism though they openly support secession and are behind the non-binding referendum.

The car rally in Toronto is being undertaken to summon the Indian government to “release all Sikh Political Prisoners who spent their terms. As per the principal organizers of the rally and prominent pro-Khalistan figure in Canada, Sukhminder Singh Hansra, senior member of Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar Canada, this was planned at a meeting last week.

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