Canada: Indian community waves Tricolour outside consulate countering pro-Khalistani protesters


Members of the Indian community holding the Tricolour, gathered outside the Indian consulate in Toronto in Canada on Saturday to protect their diplomats and the consulate office and countered a pro-Khalistan protest in Canada’s Toronto.

Indian diaspora members were seen raising slogans such as “Bharat Mata ki jai”, “Vande Mataram”, “Long Live India” and “Khalistan Murdabad”, and carried placards with “Khalistani are not Sikh”, and “Canada stop supporting Khalistani Canadian terrorists”.

Pro-Khalistani protesters, in a purported video, could be seen disrespecting the Tricolour.

Indian Canadian Sunil Arora, said, “We are standing here in front of the Consulate to face the Khalistanis. We are trying to stop Khalistani nonsense. We stand for the solidarity of India and Canada.”

Another member of the Indian diaspora, Anil Shiringi said they are there to support the Indian consulate and stand up against the Khalistani threat, which was given to Indian diplomats.

In June this year, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), an outlawed organization in India, had issued the call for the July 8 protest, and had placed images of senior Indian diplomats in their posters, including India’s ambassador to the US, India’s high commissioner to Canada, and India’s consuls-general for San Francisco and Toronto. SFJ is based in New York.

Several American and Canadian authorities had condemned the posters. A bipartisan duo of US lawmakers — Democrat Ro Khanna and Republican Michael Waltz — had called upon the US State Department to ensure the safety of Indian diplomats and diplomatic missions in the aftermath of the second attack on the Indian mission in San Francisco on July 2.

The foreign minister of Canada, Melanie Joly had said that her country is in close contact with Indian officials in light of “unacceptable” posters that appeared in Canada, regarding the pro-Khalistan protest on July 8, which bore the names and photos of top Indian diplomats.

The US condemned the vandalism and attempted arson by alleged pro-Khalistan supporters at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on July 2. “The US strongly condemns the reported vandalism and attempted arson against the Indian Consulate in San Francisco on Saturday. Vandalism or violence against diplomatic facilities or foreign diplomats in the US is a criminal offense,” US state department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a tweet last Monday.

Last week, indica reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), and the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) have joined hands to investigate the July 2 arson incident at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco.

Vidya Bhushan Dhar, another member of the Indian community, who stood in the counter-protest outside the consulate, said, “Canada is a peaceful country. We want to remain peaceful. We want to tell the government of Canada to take cognizance of this (pro-Khalistan protest), and that this is not freedom of expression. You are promoting treason and separatism.”

Pro-Khalistani elements had announced they will hold rallies outside Indian Missions in the UK, US, Canada and Australia on Saturday after the alleged killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief, Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada last month.

This was followed by posters threatening the Indian ambassadors to Canada and the US, as well as the consulate general in Toronto. In the past couple of months, three major anti-India incidents involving Khalistani separatists have been reported in Canada.

According to sources, India on Monday raised concerns over threats to its diplomats in posters being circulated in Canada with information on a pro-Khalistan rally to be held on July 8. The posters contained threats to the Indian Ambassador to Canada and the consulate general in Toronto.

The posters, purportedly circulated by Sikh extremists, have named Indian High Commissioner to Canada Sanjay Kumar Verma and the Consulate General of India, Toronto, Apoorva Srivastava accusing them of playing a role in the alleged killing of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Nijjar.

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