Indian-origin MP in Canada slams pro-Khalistani posters; says ‘snakes in our backyard raising their heads’

TORONTO, July 5: An Indian-origin MP in Canada has slammed the provocative pro-Khalistani posters labelling some senior Indian diplomats as “killers” and warned that the “snakes in our backyard are raising their heads and hissing.”
Chandra Arya, a Liberal Party politician, who hails from Karnataka, also underlined that it was only a question of time when they would bite to kill, an apparent reference to the growing menace posed by Khalistan supporters in Canada.
Tweeting a poster announcing the so-called ‘Khalistan Freedom Rally’ on July 8, Arya, who represents the Nepean constituency in Ontario province, said: “Khalistanis in Canada continue to reach (a) new low in abusing our Charter of Rights and Freedom by promoting violence and hate.”
“Emboldened by non-criticism from elected officials of a recent Brampton parade portraying and celebrating the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her bodyguards, they are now openly calling for violence against India diplomats,” Arya tweeted.
“While it is good to see Canadian authorities are noticing, we should note the snakes in our backyard are raising their heads and hissing. It is only a question of time when they bite to kill,” the 59-year-old MP wrote on Twitter.
The Khalistani poster has sparked outrage across India by calling India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Sanjay Kumar Verma and Consul General in Toronto Apoorva Srivastava as “killers” of the Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
It came a month after Khalistanis, marking the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, put up a tableau of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with blood on her clothes and a poster that read, “Revenge of attack on Shri Darbar Sahib”.
India summoned the Canadian envoy in New Delhi on Monday and issued a demarche over the increasing activities by pro-Khalistani elements in Canada.
It is learnt that India has also asked the Canadian authorities to take appropriate measures in view of planned protests by pro-Khalistan groups outside Indian missions in Canada on July 8.
Canada on Tuesday assured India of the safety of its diplomats, a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India has asked its partner countries such as Canada, the UK and the US not to give space to “extremist Khalistani ideology” as it is “not good” for relations.
A statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Tuesday termed the “promotional material” circulating ahead of the Khalistan rally “unacceptable”.
Joly, in the statement highlighting Canada’s adherence to the Vienna Conventions, said: “Canada takes its obligations under the Vienna Conventions regarding the safety of diplomats very seriously.”
Joly also emphasised that the actions of a few individuals “do not speak for an entire community or Canada”.
Jaishankar, when asked about reports of Khalistani posters in Canada naming Indian diplomats, said the issue will be raised with the government of that country.
The “radical, extremist Khalistani ideology” is not good for India or its partner countries such as the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, he told reporters in New Delhi on Monday.
The Khalistani issue has impacted ties between the two countries in many ways in the last few years, he said.
India has been asking Canada against giving space to pro-Khalistani separatists and extremist elements, Jaishankar had said.
India also summoned the Canadian High Commissioner Cameron MacKay on Tuesday to discuss the issue.
Hardeep Singh Nijjar, the Khalistan Tiger Force (KTF) chief, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Canada last month.
Nijjar was one of India’s most-wanted terrorists and carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. (PTI)