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'Not good for ties with India...': S Jaishankar slams Canada over video of extremists celebrating Indira Gandhi's assassination Canada
Image: video grab

'Not good for ties with India...': S Jaishankar slams Canada over video of extremists celebrating Indira Gandhi's assassination

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 08 Jun 2023, 05:20 pm

New Delhi/Toronto: India on Thursday slammed Canada for going lenient on extremists and separatists after a video emerged on social media of a float that allegedly celebrated the assassination of India's former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the Canadian city of Brampton.

In a press briefing, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Canada giving space to extremists and separatists on its soil is neither good for its bilateral ties with India nor for its own wellbeing.

Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, at her official residence in New Delhi, on October 31, 1984, allegedly in revenge for Operation Blue Star.

Gandhi had launched Operation Blue Star to remove Sikh separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers from the buildings of the Golden Temple, the holiest site of Sikhism, in Punjab’s Amritsar.

Condemning the event Jaishankar said: "I think there is a bigger issue involved. And the bigger issue involved really is the space that Canada has continuously and frankly... we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics, why anybody would do this."

"Because if you look at their history, you would imagine that they learn from history and they would not like to repeat that history. It is not only one incident, however, egregious it may be," Jaishankar said.

"I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence and I think it is not good for relationships and not good for Canada," he added.

The float was reportedly part of a parade that was organised by some Khalistani elements in Brampton.

In response to the alleged event, Canadian High Commissioner in India Cameron MacKay tweeted that Canada has no place for "hate or for the glorification of violence".

"I am appalled by reports of an event in Canada that celebrated the assassination of late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. There is no place in Canada for hate or for the glorification of violence. I categorically condemn these activities," he said.

(Additional reporting by Suman Das/Toronto)