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India summons Canada envoy, lodges protest over attacks on missions and consulates

2023-12-03 11:23:05source:ios

Days after pro-Khalistan groups targeted Indian missions in the United Kingdomand United States, drawing a strong response from Delhi, India has lodged a protest with Canada, flagging actions of “separatist and extremist elements” against Indian diplomatic missions and consulates.

India summons Canada envoy, lodges protest over attacks on missions and consulates

The High Commissioner of Canada was summoned Saturday by the Ministry of External Affairs which conveyed India’s “strong concern” over the attacks over the last week, according to an MEA statement issued Sunday.

India summons Canada envoy, lodges protest over attacks on missions and consulates

“The Government of India sought an explanation on how such elements were allowed, in the presence of police, to breach the security of our diplomatic Mission and Consulates,” the MEA stated.

India summons Canada envoy, lodges protest over attacks on missions and consulates

“It is expected that the Canadian Government will take all steps which are required to ensure the safety of our diplomats and security of our diplomatic premises so that they are able to fulfil their normal diplomatic functions,” it said.

India also reminded the Canadian government of its obligations under the Vienna Convention, and asked to arrest and prosecute the individuals “who have already been identified as being involved in such acts”, the MEA said.

On March 19, a dinner reception in Surrey in British Columbia, organised by Friends of Canada and India Foundation for High Commissioner of India to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma, had to be cancelled owing to violent protests by Khalistan supporters, news agency PTI reported quoting Global News, the news and current affairs division of the Canadian Global Television Network.


The spike, the concern

Sameer Kaushal, an Indian-origin journalist who was at the venue to cover the event, later tweeted that he was “pushed and threatened” by the protesters who used derogatory language.


Incidentally, the crackdown on Khalistan sympathiser Amritpal Singh, who remains at large, and his associates have echoed in the Canadian Parliament as well.

The PTI reported that on Thursday, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly, responding to a question from Indo-Canadian MP Iqwinder S Gaheer in the House of Commons, said, “We are aware of the evolving situation in Punjab, and we are following it very closely. We look forward to a return to a more stable situation… Canadians can always count on the Government of Canada to make sure that we will continue to address the concerns of many members of the community.”

On Tuesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, responding to a question from New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, said, “We are looking forward to a swift return to a more stable situation.” Singh’s Twitter handle has been withheld in India “in response to a legal demand”.


Canada is home to a large Indian diaspora, particularly from Punjab. Last September, the MEA had issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students who are in Canada citing a “sharp increase in incidents of hate crime, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities” in the country.

In recent weeks, there have been incidents of vandalism in Indian missions in the US and the UK. Two weeks ago, protesters, chanting pro-Khalistan slogans, had taken down the Indian flag at the Indian High Commission in London.

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Last Sunday, the Indian Consulate in San Francisco was attacked by groups of protesters raising pro-Khalistan slogans. They broke open the makeshift security barriers and installed two flags inside the Consulate premises.

Both the White House and the US State Department have condemned the incident. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan tweeted on March 21 that the State Department was in touch with local law enforcement authorities “on the next steps in this matter” while the State Department, in a statement, said, “Violence against diplomatic facilities within the US is a punishable crime.”

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After the breach of security at India’s London Mission, UK’s Foreign Office minister Lord Tariq Ahmad had described the act as “completely unacceptable”, adding that the UK government “will always take the security of the Indian High Commission seriously”.

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