Conflicts & War

Indian summons Canadian diplomat over Sikh separatist protests

New Delhi, Mar 26 (EFE).- The Indian government summoned the High Commissioner of Canada to complain against the separatist protests before its diplomatic missions in the North American country, according to a statement by the foreign ministry in New Delhi on Sunday.

“The High Commissioner of Canada was summoned yesterday to convey our strong concern about the actions of separatist and extremist elements against our diplomatic Mission and Consulates in Canada this week,” the statement read.

Members of the Sikh religious group and belonging to the Indian diaspora recently held protests before the Indian embassy in Canada, during which they broke the security perimeter.

The incident was the latest in a series of demonstrations by the members of the minority community in front of India’s diplomatic missions in different parts of the world.

The protests come in response to the Indian government’s operation, launched a week ago, to capture Sikh separatist leader Amritpal Singh, which however is yet to give results.

Singh is leader of the organization “Waris Punjab De,” which calls for an independent state of Khalistan carved out from the northern Punjab region.

Singh is accused of hiding large quantities of weapons and running a center to indoctrinate young Sikhs – a minority in India as a whole but predominant in Punjab – into carrying out attacks and violent protests.

Although the operation has triggered a wave of arrests against the separatist leader’s supporters, Amritpal has so far evaded the authorities.

For years, India has denounced the alleged support for pro-Khalistan separatist movements from the diaspora of this minority community in Canada.

A violent armed uprising in Punjab, demanding the creation of Khalistan caused 25,000 deaths between 1981 and 1995.

The crisis in Punjab reached its peak in June 1984, with the Indian Army entering the sacred Golden Temple where hundreds of armed independence fighters had been entrenched, with the operation resulting in more than 500 deaths.

The incident, in turn, led to the murder of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, sparking a wave of violence against minority religion practitioners in New Delhi in which approximately 2,800 people died. EFE


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