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Monday March 04, 2024

Canadian Sikhs protest outside Indian mission

By Agencies
September 26, 2023

TORONTO: A handful of members of a Canadian Sikh group gathered outside the Indian diplomatic mission in Toronto on Monday, a week after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the prospect of New Delhi’s involvement in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia.

The protests, which are also planned in Ottawa and Vancouver, are aimed at increasing public awareness about India’s alleged role in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was shot dead outside a Sikh temple on June 18 in Surrey, a Vancouver suburb with a high Sikh population, one organiser said.

Between 100 and 150 members were expected to join the protests, Jatinder Singh Grewal, a director of the group Sikh for Justice in Canada, said, but only a dozen people had gathered in front of the Indian consulate in Toronto around noon when the demonstration was set to begin.

Protesters began chanting “Khalistan live forever” in the Punjabi language. The Indian High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Kumar Verma, said concerned authorities have been informed of the protests. “Ensuring security of diplomatic premises and personnel is responsibility of the host country. I have no reasons to doubt that such a commitment will remain unfulfilled,” Verma said in an email.

The Toronto Police Department said it was aware of the planned demonstrations on Monday but declined to disclose details of the security preparations or potential response to any violent situations that may arise during the protest.