Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar on Thursday hit out at Canada after visuals of a parade float depicting the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Canada’s Brampton city surfaced on Wednesday. Condemning Canada’s apparent tolerance of pro-Khalistan elements, Jaishankar said that it is not “not good for Canada and its relationship with India”.
“Frankly, we are at a loss to understand other than the requirements of vote bank politics why anybody would do this…I think there is a larger underlying issue about the space which is given to separatists, to extremists, to people who advocate violence,” Jaishankar said while addressing the media.
Jaishankar’s sharp response came after a purported video circulating on social media showed a parade float depicting Indira Gandhi and her killers – who were the members of her security. The parade also had a sign saying the assassination was “Revenge for Attack on Shri Darbar Sahib” – referring to the storming of the Golden Temple by Indian troops in 1984.
According to reports, the parade was allegedly organised by Khalistani supporters on June 4 – just days before the upcoming 39th anniversary of ‘Operation Blue Star’ on June 6.
Earlier on Wednesday, India’s High Commission in Ottawa sent a formal note to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) expressing its displeasure to the Canadian government over the incident.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday called the depiction of Indira Gandhi’s assassination ‘despicable’. He also urged Jaishankar to take it up strongly with the Canadian authorities. Meanwhile, Congress’ Milind Deora said, “It’s not about taking sides, it’s about respect for a nation’s history & the pain caused by its Prime Minister’s assassination. This extremism deserves universal condemnation & a united response.”