Promotion of violence never acceptable: Canadian envoy on Indira float in Greater Toronto

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Cameron Mackay

Canadian envoy to India Cameron MacKay (File image)

New Delhi: Promotion of violence is never acceptable in Canada, Canadian envoy to India Cameron MacKay said on Tuesday, two days after display of a float depicting former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination at an event in Greater Toronto triggered fresh tensions in bilateral ties.

India has already taken up the issue with Canadian authorities.

"The Government of Canada is aware of further imagery displayed in Brampton on Sunday. Canada's position is clear: The promotion of violence is never acceptable in Canada," MacKay said on X.

The float glorifying Indira Gandhi's assassination was part of a parade that was taken out in Brampton to mark the 40th anniversary of Operation Bluestar.

Operation Bluestar was an India Army operation carried out in June 1984 to flush out militants including their leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

India has been asking Canada to come down hard on pro-Khalistani elements operating from Canadian soil.

The ties between the two countries came under severe strain following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations in September last year of a "potential" involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia.

New Delhi rejected Trudeau's charges as "absurd".

India has been maintaining that the main issue between the two countries is that of Canada giving space to pro-Khalistani elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity.

There have been instances of pro-Khalistani elements threatening to harm Indian diplomats.

Days after Trudeau's allegations last year, India asked Ottawa to downsize its diplomatic presence in the country to ensure parity.

Canada subsequently withdrew 41 diplomats and their family members from India.

Nijjar, who was declared a terrorist by India, was shot dead outside a gurdwara in British Columbia in Surrey on June 18 last year.

The murder is being probed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).