NEW DELHI: Ministry of external affairs summoned the Canadian deputy high commissioner on Monday and strongly protested the unabashed chanting of


pro-Khalistan slogans at an


addressed by Canadian PM Justin


Trudeau addressing a ‘

Khalsa Day

’ gathering in Toronto, which flaunted ‘Modi wanted’ banners, has left the Indian intelligence establishment alarmed, sources said.



were allegedly put up by secessionist group


For Justice (SFJ), which has called for the killing of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June last year to be avenged, and has incited violence against Indian diplomats in


Addressing the event, Trudeau vowed to protect the rights and freedoms of Sikhs. India has in the past blamed Trudeau’s “vote-bank politics” for Canada’s reluctance to rein in pro-Khalistan leaders who continue to target Indian interests in the country.

Screenshot 2024-04-30 054723

A huge banner at the event identified PM Narendra Modi, defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar as “Nijjar’s killers”.
Trudeau pushed bilateral ties into a downward spiral by saying Canadian law enforcement had uncovered a “plot” by India to eliminate Nijjar, wanted for terrorist crimes and who has been blamed for the killing of a Sikh for taking control of a rich gurdwara.
Trudeau, who also raised his allegation with Modi, is yet to back the claim he made in public that Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Security Intelligence Agency had got evidence of India’s hand in Nijjar’s killing and had identified those who pulled the trigger.

Also, while he said that he had got the evidence from a fellow member of Five Eyes Alliance, an Anglosphere intelligence group comprising US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, other members of the grouping have not allowed the episode to cast a shadow on their ties with New Delhi.
The latest incident triggered an angry


from MEA which conveyed govt’s “deep concern and strong protest” as disturbing actions were being allowed to continue unchecked at the event.
The govt said the unchecked separatist activity once again illustrated the political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism and violence. “Their continued expressions not only impact India-Canada relations but also encourage a climate of violence and criminality in Canada to the detriment of its own citizens,” it added.
Trudeau seen smiling at pro-Khalistan rally
During Trudeau’s address, pro-Khalistan Sikhs demanded the prosecution of Indian high commissioner Sanjay Verma for “orchestrating the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar”. In a video released by SFJ, Trudeau was seen smiling at the chants of “Khalistan zindabad”.
SFJ chief Pannun said, “Trudeau’s address is reassuring that pro-Khalistan Sikhs’ right to campaign for liberation of Punjab from Indian occupation was protected under Canadian Charter of Rights and the liberal govt will always stand with Canadian Sikhs.”


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