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India summons Canadian diplomat over pro-Khalistan slogans raised during event attended by Trudeau

The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday summoned Canadian Deputy High Commissioner Stewart Wheeler after pro-Khalistan slogans were raised during an event in Toronto attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other political leaders.

“The Government of India’s deep concern and strong protest was conveyed at such disturbing actions being allowed to continue unchecked at the event. This illustrates once again the political space that has been given in Canada to separatism, extremism and violence, ” the MEA said in an official statement.

“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,” the statement said.

At the Khalsa Day Celebrations that took place in Toronto on Sunday, loud chants of pro-Khalistan slogans were raised in the presence of Trudeau, as well as opposition leader Pierre Poilievre.

Trudeau, while addressing the event, said: “To the nearly, 800,000 Canadians of Sikh heritage across this country, we will always be there to protect your rights and your freedoms, and we will always defend your community against hatred and discrimination.”

Diplomatic relations between India and Canada soured following Trudeau’s allegations that India was involved in the assassination of Canadian Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in June last year. India dismissed these claims as “absurd” and “motivated.”

(With ANI input)

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