The controversy surrounding the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar is deepening tensions between Canada and India. The Sikh For Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan organization, has called on Canadian Hindus of Indian origin to leave Canada immediately, issuing threats over their support for India and celebrations related to Nijjar’s death. It’s worth noting that the Sikh For Justice was banned in India in 2019.
Gurpatwant Pannun, a declared terrorist by India, released a video message in which he said, “Indo-Hindus, leave Canada, go to India.” He accused those supporting not only India but also suppressing the speeches and expressions of Sikh pro-Khalistan supporters. He demanded that they leave Canada immediately.
This video has surfaced at a time when there is an ongoing heated debate between Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and the Indian government. Trudeau has alleged that there could be a conspiracy by the Indian government behind Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing. In response, the Indian government dismissed all such claims as baseless. However, Trudeau later clarified that Canada was not “provoking or inciting” anyone.
Vijay Jain, the spokesperson for Canadian Hindus for Harmony, expressed concerns about Pannun’s threat. He mentioned that they are witnessing anti-Hindu sentiment prevailing in the city and that Trudeau’s comments might incite violence. He also emphasized that they are worried about not having a repeat of the tragic event of June 1985, when a terrorist attack killed many people in Canada.
Jain’s reference was to the Air India Flight 182 bombing on June 25, 1985, which was the deadliest terrorist attack in Canadian history. The flight was en route from Montreal to London when it exploded at an altitude of 31,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the deaths of 307 passengers and the crew members, including 22 Canadian citizens. Canada observes a National Day of Remembrance every year on June 23 to commemorate the victims of the bombing.
Commentator Rupa Subramanya raised questions about Pannun’s threat. She remarked, “Imagine if a white person had threatened to make all non-white people leave Canada; the outrage would be enormous. Yet, when a Khalistani threatens Hindus in Canada, it goes largely unnoticed.”
The pro-Khalistan organization SFJ stated that they are pleased with the recent steps taken by the Trudeau government.
Meanwhile, Andrew Coyne, in an op-ed in Canada’s national daily ‘The Globe and Mail,’ emphasized the need to maintain peace in the country following Hardeep Singh Nijjar’s killing. He said, “There will be many Sikhs in Canada who will be saddened by Nijjar’s death. Some will be angry, and some may be tempted to offer inducements. So, this is a time to keep the peace.”
Canada’s Minister Anita Anand, who is a Hindu, appealed for maintaining peace. She acknowledged that the recent statements by Trudeau might not sit well with South Asian and Indian-origin families in the country. She said that hearing the statements was difficult, but it’s a time to follow the legal process.