New Delhi, Feb 22: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled a dinner invite Jaspal Atwal, who is a convicted Khalistani terrorist. The dinner reception was scheduled in Delhi on Thursday, February 22. The cancellation came after a photograph of Atwal posing with the Canadian Prime Minister’s wife Sophie Trudeau in Mumbai surfaced. It also came shortly after Trudeau met Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who raised the Khalistani terror issue in the meeting. Also Read - COVID-19 in Punjab: Night Curfew in Hotspots, Curbs on Indoor, Outdoor Gatherings From March 1
Jaspal Atwal was convicted of the attempted murder of Punjab minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu, on Vancouver Island in 1986. He was one of four men who ambushed & shot at Sidhu’s car. Also Read - Public, Private Universities in Punjab to Reopen From Jan 21, Govt Issues SOPs | Details Here
The Canadian PMO later clarified that Atwal was not part of Trudeau’s delegation to India. “This individual( Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal) should never have been invited to any event on the program, and his invitation has been rescinded. We are in the process of looking into how this occurred,” a statement from the Canadian PMO said.
“That said, it’s important to be clear that he is not part of official delegation to PM’s visit to India, nor was he invited by the Prime Minister’s Office. As is the case with international trips, individuals sometimes travel on their own to the location of the visit,” it added.
Trudeau, along with his six ministers, met Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Amritsar on Wednesday. The meeting between both leaders lasted for an hour.
Captain Singh handed Trudeau a list of nine Canada-based operatives allegedly involved in promoting radicalism here as the ‘Khalistan’ issue featured prominently in the talks between the two leaders.
Chief Minister Singh submitted a list of nine Canada-based operatives alleged to be involved in target-killings and other hate crimes in Punjab, including financing and supplying of weapons for terrorist activities, an official said. He urged Trudeau to initiate stern action against such elements.
The Canadian premier assured the Punjab chief minister that his country did not support “any separatist movement in India or elsewhere,” said Raveen Thukral, the chief minister’s media advisor.