On July 3, 2023, the Indian High Commission in Canada demarched the Justin Trudeau Government and asked the federal government to take action against the Khalistani extremists for targeting Indian diplomatic officials.
India has asked Canada to act urgently against Khalistani extremists who are planning to take a protest march to Indian Embassies in Toronto and Vancouver after deliberately trying to blame Indian diplomats and security agencies for the death of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the chief of Khalistani Tiger Force KTF) a radical Khalistani outfit.
On June 19, 2023, the KTF chief was killed in inter-gang warfare in the Sikh-majority city of Vancouver. He also was affiliated with Sikhs For Justice (SJF), a banned Khalistani outfit in the United States of America (USA).
The poster for the protest rally had highlighted the names of two Indian diplomats, namely Saurav Kumar Sharma, Indian High Commissioner Saurav Kumar Sharma and Counsellor Apurva Shrivastava, with photos and posters of a simultaneous rally in Vancouver naming the High Commissioner and Counsel General of Vancouver.
Such is the gall of the Khalistani elements that the phone numbers of the protest rally organisers are printed and featured in the posters along with the targeted diplomats. As the identities of the two diplomats are known, the Canada Government, this time, has no excuses or pretexts for refusing to take action or dismissing this threat completely.
It is understood that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has already contacted the Indian High Commission in Toronto and Vancouver and have decided to provide personal security to the Indian diplomats and Counsel General.
In spite of New Delhi raising the threat of these Khalistani elements, the Canadian government under Justin Trudeau’s government has dismissed, ignored and did not take action against these elements in the country. These Sikh separatists constitute a major vote bank for the current government. The Khalistani extremists have defaced several temples, written anti-Indian graffiti on the walls and targeted the non-Indian Sikh community at large.
The Vancouver Protest Rally will commence from the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara, which Nijjar and his cronies have taken over will culminate at the Indian Consulate in Vancouver. The Toronto protest will begin from Malton and proceed towards the Indian High Commission in Toronto.
Adding to the pressure on Indian diplomats, the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has taken to social media and announced a Kill India rally in eight countries on the same day.
The phenomenon and the call of demarches are not new. On March 27, 2023, External Affairs Minister Subramanium Jaishankar strongly commented on the attack of pro-Khalistani elements in the Indian Embassies in Canada.
On September 15, 2022, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Brampton, Ontario, was attacked and vandalised by Khalistani entities. The walls were defaced with slogans such as ‘Hindustan Murdabad’ and ‘Khalistan Zindabad’
Subsequently, the Indian government sent a demarche to Justin Trudeau’s government for cancelling a referendum that was launched by pro-Khalistani outfits in Canada on November 6, 2022.
A demarche is a formal diplomatic representation of the official position, views, and wishes on a subject from one government to another government or intergovernmental organisation. It often denotes a note of protest or petition presented to diplomatic channels and governments.
India has stated that the attack on Hindu temples and diplomatic infrastructures such as embassies and consular services defies the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India. It is due to these incidents that the relationship and ties between India and Canada are turning sour.
The Khalistan Tiger Force is a militant outfit that aims to revive terrorism in Punjab, and its main agenda is to create a separate territory called Khalistan from India. Other examples of these organisations include Khalistan Liberation Force and Khalistan Commando Force etc. share the same objective and are respective branches of the Khalistan ideology whole.