Days after an offensive video from a pro-Khalistan group threatening Hindus in Canada to leave the country went viral, top federal public safety officials and politicians have denounced the "online hate video" and asserted that Hindus are “safe and welcome.” However, neither the government body nor the politicians singled out the video by name, according to a report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Dominic LeBlanc, Canada’s minister of public safety, democratic institutions, and intergovernmental affairs, said that the “circulation of an online hate video targeting Hindu Canadians runs contrary to the values we hold dear as Canadians.” LeBlanc, wrote in a post on X, “There is no place for acts of aggression, hate, intimidation or incitement of fear.” The video showed Gurpatwant Singh Pannun of the pro-Khalistan group, Sikh for Justice, and a lawyer based in New York, openly asking Hindus from Canada to “go back to India.” Even the Public Safety Department of Canada called the video “offensive and hateful,” the report by the country's public broadcaster said.
“Acts of aggression, hate, intimidation or incitement of fear have no place in this country and only serve to divide us,” the Department said in a separate post on X.
“We urge all Canadians to respect one another and follow the rule of law. Canadians deserve to feel safe in their communities,” the CBC said, further quoting the Department’s post on X.
The video surfaced days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's explosive allegations on September 18 of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, on Canadian soil on June 18 in British Columbia.
India angrily rejected Trudeau’s allegations as “absurd” and “motivated.” It also expelled a senior Canadian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move to Ottawa’s expulsion of an Indian official over the case.
Earlier in 2020, India had designated Nijjar, 45, as a terrorist.
LeBlanc’s sentiment was echoed by New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.
The CBC quoted Poilievre’s own statement on X, wherein he noted Hindus have been the target of hateful comments in “recent days” and added that every Canadian deserves to live “without fear” and “feel welcomed in their community.” “Conservatives condemn these comments against our Hindu neighbours and friends. Hindus have made invaluable contributions to every part of our country and will always be welcome here,” Poilievre said.
Singh, also a Sikh, said Hindus in Canada deserve to be here. “Anyone that suggests otherwise does not reflect the values of inclusion, compassion and kindness we hold close as Canadians,” CBC said quoting Singh’s post on X.
Earlier on Friday, Indo-Canadian lawmaker Chandra Arya from Trudeau's party had expressed dismay at the “glorification of terrorism” and hate crime targeting Hindus in the name of “freedom of expression” in Canada.
“A few days back, Khalistan movement leader in Canada and the president of Sikhs for Justice which organises the so-called referendum, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun attacked Hindu Canadians asking us to leave Canada and go back to India,” Arya, a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, said.
“I have heard from many Hindu-Canadians, who are fearful after this targeted attack. I urge Hindu-Canadians to stay calm but vigilant. Please report any incident of Hinduphobia to your local law enforcement agencies,” the Indo-Canadian MP had posted on X.
The Khalistan movement leader is trying to provoke Hindu Canadians to react and divide the Hindu and Sikh communities in Canada, Arya had said.
Canada’s Emergency Preparedness Minister Harjit Sajjan also posted on X: “To Hindu Canadians and Indians from all backgrounds: Anyone who says you do not deserve to be safe & welcomed in your home, does not embody the values of freedom and kindness we hold dear as Canadians. Do not let others de-legitimise or question your place and love for Canada.”
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