India’s envoy to Canada cancels event due to protests linked to Amritpal Singh; Sikh student assaulted  

Amritpal Singh (File photo)

India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Sanjay Kumar Verma forced to cancel an event due to concerns over his safety after hundreds of protestors wielding swords blocked the entrance to the venue the Taj Park Convention Centre in British Columbia.

Efforts to arrest separatist leader Amritpal Singh is underway in India. The Punjab government on Monday extended the suspension of mobile internet and SMS services till Tuesday noon even as the hunt for Singh continued for the third day.

There were online threats to disrupt meetings and events being attended by Indian diplomats in the country including that of the High Commissioner, reported the Hindustan Times. The call to the protestors asked them to “Mask up” and to leave their IDs and cellphones at home.” Maninder Gill, president of the Foundation, said, “This is a shame if even the High Commissioner cannot be protected in this country.”

India’s High Commission had already sought upgraded security for its missions in the country for the foreseeable future.

Yesterday, the High Commission faced a protest by members of the Shiromani Akali Dal – Amritsar in Ottawa.  A senior Indian official said they have sought heightened security from the nodal law enforcement agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP, on a continuing basis as more protests are expected, particularly if Amritpal Singh is arrested in India, according to a Hindustan Times report. That standing request pertains to the High Commission in the Canadian capital as well as the Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

Meanwhile, a public meeting “to discuss Bhai Amritpal Singh’s Arrest” was organized at the Sikh Spiritual Center in the town of Brampton in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA by the Ontario Gurdwara Committee. A lot of protest meets have been planned in the country.

On the other hand, there were reports of assault against a member of Sikh community in the country. Gagandeep Singh, 21, student from India was attacked in Canada’s British Columbia province by a group of unknown men who ripped off his turban and dragged him across the sidewalk by his hair, according to a media report. Gagandeep Singh was assaulted when he was heading home on Friday night, CTV news reported. Councillor Mohini Singh said she heard of the attack shortly after it happened and went to visit Gagandeep.

(With agencies’ inputs)



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