Amidst the diplomatic cold-shoulder over Canadian PM Trudeau’s Khalistan issue, a convicted Sikh separatist, Jaspal Atwal, of an illegal Sikh separatist group was invited for a formal dinner with Trudeau, hosted by the Canadian High Commissioner on Thursday, 22 February in Delhi, CBC News reported.
Canada's High Commission to India, which extended the invite to Atwal for a formal dinner, has been rescinded after CBC News asked the Prime Minister's Office about it.
Taking cognisance of the matter, Canadian High Commission revoked Atwal’s dinner invitation and Prime Minister Trudeau himself said, “Obviously, we take this extremely seriously. He should never have received an invitation. As soon as we received the info we rescinded it, a member of Parliament had included this individual.”
According to the CBC report, the convicted Khalistani separatist was photographed with Trudeau’s wife Sophie at an event in Mumbai on 20 February.
We Are Trying to Find out How Atwal Got a Visa: MEA
Ministry of External Affairs said it is trying to fetch details from its mission on how Atwal got a visa. MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “There are two aspects to it –presence and Visa. The Canadian side has already clarified that the invitation has been withdrawn. About the Visa I don't know how it happened. We will ascertain information from our Commission.”
"Let us not presume things and decide how he managed to come. This is something which we are trying to find out. In due course, we will be able to come up with a reason that how he managed to come in India." - Raveesh Kumar, MEA SpokespersonWho is Jaspal Atwal?
Atwal was convicted in Canada for attempting the murder of the then-Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu on Vancouver Island in 1986, the report stated. Atwal admitted that he was one of four men who ambushed and shot at Sidhu's car. Atwal is reportedly a former member of the International Sikh Youth Federation, a banned 'terrorist’ group in Canada, the UK, the US and India.
This is not the first time that Atwal been embroiled in violation of law and order. He was charged for brutally attacking Ujjal Dosanjh, a vocal critic of the Sikh movement in 1985, the CBC report mentioned. In a case of stealing, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia won a $28,000 judgment against Atwal over a stolen car ring involving Atwal's son, Vik.
Opposition Rakes up a Storm
Meanwhile, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah called out the Indian government for giving him visa in the first place.
Clearly we had no problem giving him a visa so why outrage at the Canadians for inviting him for dinner? Before we ask why he was invited for dinner we need to ask our Govt how he got in in the first place. https://t.co/vyYyuPCjS5— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 22, 2018
The incident comes after the Canadian PM met Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday, 21 February, and assured him that Canada did not support separatism in India or elsewhere as he pitched for greater cooperation.
The CM also handed PM Trudeau a list of nine Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in promoting radicalism as the ‘Khalistan’ issue featured prominently in the talks between the two leaders.
Really happy to receive categorical assurance from Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government’s support in tackling fringe separatist elements.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 21, 2018
(With inputs from CBC News)
(The Quint, in association with BitGiving, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for an 8-month-old who was raped in Delhi on 28 January 2018. The baby girl, who we will refer to as 'Chhutki', was allegedly raped by her 28-year-old cousin when her parents were away. She has been discharged from AIIMS hospital after undergoing three surgeries, but needs more medical treatment in order to heal completely. Her parents hail from a low-income group and have stopped going to work so that they can take care of the baby. You can help cover Chhutki's medical expenses and secure her future. Every little bit counts. Click here to donate.)
. Read more on World by The Quint.Khalistan Separatist Atwal’s Invitation to Trudeau’s Dinner Nixed‘Dil Diyan Gallan’: Pammi’s Letter of Understanding to Nirav Modi . Read more on World by The Quint.