Canada says no threat to CM Amarinder Singh, closes in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Northlines - - FOODS -

Cit­ing non-avail­abil­ity of "suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence", the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment has told In­dia that there is no threat to Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter Amarinder Singh and has con­cluded its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter. In a com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the Indian au­thor­i­ties, Canada's De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs, Trade and De­vel­op­ment has stated that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been con­ducted by the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice (RCMP).

Sources in the Min­istry of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs (MEA) in New Delhi said that the Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties, in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion, has said that the RCMP in­ves­ti­ga­tion has de­ter­mined that there is no ev­i­dence of di­rect phys­i­cal threat made to­wards Amarinder Singh.

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It fur­ther stated that there was "not suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence" to file crim­i­nal charges or pro­ceed against any­one. The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment said that in view of the find­ings, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had been con­cluded.

The Indian High Com­mis­sion in Canada had lodged a "for­mal com­plaint" to Global Af­fairs-canada (Canada's for­eign of­fice) in April fol­low­ing a threat pub­licly is­sued to the Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter by proKhal­is­tan el­e­ments dur­ing a Baisakhi Day event in Bri­tish Columbia's Sur­rey city.

The threat was part of the hate speeches made by Sikh rad­i­cals op­er­at­ing out of Canada.

Videos of the Baisakhi Pa­rade in Sur­rey on April 22 were sent to the Cana­dian for­eign min­istry as proof. Indian au­thor­i­ties had also ob­jected to the pub­lic dis­play of Khal­is­tan floats Cana­dian with im­ages of slain sep­a­ratist leader Jar­nail Singh Bhin­dran­wale and other ter­ror­ists, pic­tures of AK-47S and pho­to­graphs of for­mer and serv­ing army and po­lice of­fi­cers who are on the hit-list of Sikh rad­i­cals. MEA sources said that the Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties were cau­tioned about the "an­tiIn­dia pro­pa­ganda" of the Khal­is­tani el­e­ments as In­dia was an­tic­i­pat­ing trou­ble. The Cana­dian for­eign min­istry, re­spond­ing to the early warn­ing, said it would take "nec­es­sary ac­tion". How­ever, the Khal­is­tani el­e­ments were al­lowed to have a free run and even is­sued threats on loud­speak­ers to Amarinder Singh in front of hun­dreds of peo­ple from the Indian com­mu­nity who par­tic­i­pated in the April 22 pa­rade. The Cana­dian pro­vin­cial po­lice and se­cu­rity agen­cies were present when all this happened, the sources said. Amarinder Singh on Fri­day again stressed the need for Canada to rein in the rad­i­cal el­e­ments that were "try­ing to use Cana­dian soil to spread strife and di­vi­sive­ness in In­dia".

The chief min­is­ter raised the issue with Ja­land­har-born Cana­dian MP Ramesh­war Singh Sangha, who met him in New Delhi on Fri­day. "Such el­e­ments, in­clud­ing Khal­is­tani sup­port­ers, could not have any im­pact on the Cana­dian po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment but they could in­flu­ence the peo­ple of In­dia and vi­ti­ate the at­mos­phere here," Amarinder Singh pointed out.

"The Cana­dian gov­ern­ment should crack down on these forces and en­sure that they do not have a free run on so­cial me­dia and other pub­lic plat­forms, the Chief Min­is­ter added.

The Amarinder Singh gov­ern­ment had, in April, cold-shoul­dered vis­it­ing Cana­dian de­fence min­is­ter of Indian-ori­gin Har­jit Singh Sa­j­jan as he trav­elled to var­i­ous places in Pun­jab. He had re­fused to meet Sa­j­jan, the first Sikh to be the de­fence min­is­ter of a Western coun­try, ac­cus­ing him and other min­is­ters of Pun­jab ori­gin in the gov­ern­ment of Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau of links to rad­i­cal el­e­ments de­mand­ing a sep­a­rate Sikh state of Khal­is­tan.

No min­is­ter or se­nior of­fi­cer of the Pun­jab gov­ern­ment went to wel­come Sa­j­jan or even ac­com­pany him dur­ing the visit.

Amarinder Singh made it clear that he "would not meet any Khal­is­tani sym­pa­this­ers".

He was an­noyed with the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment since April last year when he was de­nied per­mis­sion to visit the coun­try, which has a size­able Pun­jabi Di­as­pora, in the run-up to the Pun­jab as­sem­bly elec­tions. A rad­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion, Sikhs for Jus­tice ( SFJ), had com­plained to the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment against the visit.

The Congress leader had to can­cel his trip after be­ing told by the Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties at the last minute that he could not be al­lowed to visit the coun­try for hold­ing po­lit­i­cal ral­lies and meet­ings. The visit was aimed at woo­ing in­flu­en­tial Non-res­i­dent Indian (NRI) groups in Canada. IANS

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