‘Votebank politics’: EAM Jaishankar rebukes Canada over ‘celebration’ of Indira Gandhi’s assassination

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jun 8, 2023 13:07 IST

By India Today News Desk: Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar condemned Canada’s apparent tolerance of pro-Khalistan elements after visuals surfaced of a parade float in Brampton depicting the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

“India fails to understand why Canada gives space to separatists and extremists, other than vote bank politics,” Jaishankar said.

The foreign minister’s sharp reaction comes after a video emerged on social media showing a float depicting the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The float was reportedly part of a 5-km long parade taken out by Khalistani supporters in Canada’s Brampton.

The video, whose authenticity India Today could not independently verify, is believed to be from a parade taken out in Brampton by Khalistan supporters on June 4, just days before the 39th anniversary of Operation Blue Star on June 6.

India formally expressed its displeasure to the Canadian government on Wednesday over the incident. India’s High Commission in Ottawa sent a formal note to Global Affairs Canada (GAC), describing the occurrence as “not acceptable”.

Canadian High Commissioner in India Cameron MacKay came on record to condemn the depiction of Indira Gandhi’s assassination at the Brampton event, saying that there is “no place for hate or glorification of violence in Canada”.


Asked about Canada’s action against hundreds of Indian students whose visa documents were found to be fake, Jaishankar assured that the Ministry of External Affairs was engaging with Canadian authorities on the issue, stating that the students acted in “good faith” and were not to blame.

“From the very start, we have taken up this case and our point is, the students studied in good faith. If there were people who misled them, the culpable parties should be acted against,” the foreign minister said.

“It is unfair to punish a student who undertook their education in good faith. I think the Canadians also accept that it would be unfair if a student has done no wrong…We will continue to press,” he added.

The Canada Border Security Agency issued deportation notices to nearly 700 Indian students, mostly from Punjab, after their admission offer letters were found to be fake. The mastermind of the scam, who ran a Jalandhar-based immigration and counseling service, is currently absconding.

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