The tensions between India and Canada reached a new height today over the allegations and counter-allegations linked to the death of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. In a retaliatory move, India today expelled a senior Canadian diplomat to India after Canada expelled a senior Indian diplomat. The move comes after India rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s charge that New Delhi played a role in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday accused the Indian government of being behind the fatal shooting of Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on Monday said an Indian diplomat in Canada had been expelled, Joly said the Canadian government had expelled the Indian diplomat over allegations of the country’s involvement in the killing of the Khalistani leader. Meanwhile, India rejected allegations made by Trudeau in the Canadian Parliament.
In the past few years, Canada has been the centre of anti-India demonstrations by Khalistanis and despite New Delhi raising concerns, Khalistani terrorists have even attacked Indian consulates. Many Hindu temples were also vandalised by the Khalistani terrorists in the last few years.
Sikh Population In Canada
Canada has the highest population of Sikhs outside their home state of Punjab. Canada is also home to one of the largest overseas communities of Indian origin, which number about 1.4 million out of an overall Canadian population of 40 million. About 7,70,000 people reported Sikhism as their religion in the 2021 census. As per the latest estimates, there are around 8 lakh Sikhs residing in Canada, majority of them have voting rights.
Sikhs And Canadian Politics
Canada’s House Of Commons have a total of 338 MPs out of which 18 are Sikh MPs. According to reports, Punjabi has been the third-most spoken language in Canada, English being the first and French being the second. The Sikhs are a dominant ethnic group in Canada and hold majority influence in at least eight Parliamentary seats besides having a substantial presence in 15 other seats. Many times, these seats play a crucial role in tilting the balance in favour of any party. This is the reason that no political parties in Canada dare to upset Sikhs and don’t take action against Khalistanis. (With agency inputs)