ontario news watch

India envoy ‘very satisfied’ by Canada response to threats by Sikh separatist groups

OTTAWA — India’s envoy to Canada says he is satisfied the federal government is adequately protecting his country’s diplomats after New Delhi raised concerns for their safety earlier this year.

Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Verma says he’s optimistic both countries can circumvent heated diaspora politics to form closer ties.

Some members of Sikh communities in Canada advocate for part of Punjab to separate as an independent state called Khalistan but the Indian government perceives this as an extremist movement that endangers national security.

The rhetoric escalated in June after the shooting death of the head of a gurdwara in the Vancouver area, with some in the community saying they believe his death was linked to foreign interference.

The RCMP has said they have no evidence of such a link and that investigators had no reason to believe the Sikh community in Canada is at risk.

A U.S.-based group has called on Sikhs in Canada to “besiege” India’s diplomatic missions and find the home addresses of its diplomats, issuing posters calling on people to “Kill India.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2023.

The Canadian Press