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Pro-Khalistan Slogans Raised In Presence Of Canada PM Justin Trudeau On Khalsa Day Event

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered in downtown Toronto for the largest gathering of the year.

Toronto:

At a Khalsa Day celebration in Toronto, some were seen shouting pro-Khalistan slogans in the presence of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and opposition leader Pierre Poièvre. This comes amidst recent rise in anti-India sentiment in Canada.

According to a video released by Canada-based CPAC TV, as Prime Minister Trudeau was about to take the stage to give a speech to commemorate Khalsa Day, the cheers grew louder until he arrived and began his speech. Ta.

Slogans of “Khalistan Zindabad” were heard at the event, which was also attended by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow.

A similar example occurred when Pierre Poièvre, Canada’s official opposition leader, took to the stage to begin his address to the crowd gathered at the event.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Toronto on Sunday to attend one of the city’s largest annual gatherings.

Vaisakhi, also known as Khalsa Day, commemorates the founding of the Sikh community in 1699 and the Sikh New Year, according to the Ontario Sikh Gurdwaras Council (OSGC).

The group has been organizing an annual parade on Lakeshore Boulevard for many years. According to CBC News, the council claims it is the third largest parade in the country and regularly draws thousands of spectators.

Even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walked in to address Toronto’s Sikh community, the crowd roared pro-Khalistan slogans. Prime Minister Trudeau assured the country’s Sikh community that the government will always be there to protect their rights and freedoms at all costs.

“Diversity is one of Canada’s greatest strengths, and our country is strong because of our differences, not in spite of them,” he said.

“One of Canada’s greatest strengths is our diversity. We are not strong in spite of our differences, we are strong because of our differences. But even as we look at these differences, we remember , on days like these we must remind ourselves, every day, that Sikh values ​​are Canadian values…” Prime Minister Trudeau said at the Khalsa Day celebrations in Toronto on Sunday.

“To the approximately 800,000 Canadians of Sikh descent across this country, we will always stand by you to protect your rights and freedoms, and we will always protect your communities from hatred and discrimination,” he said. insisted.

Canada’s prime minister also said the country is strengthening security and infrastructure programs by “increasing security at places of worship, including community centers and gurdwaras.”

“Your right to freely practice your religion without intimidation is just that. It is a fundamental right guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and we will always stand up and protect you.” Prime Minister Trudeau assured the Sikh community in his Khalsa Day speech. .

However, Prime Minister Trudeau’s remarks came at a time when diplomatic relations between India and Canada are undergoing a difficult phase.

Of note was the killing of Indian-designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, which sparked a rift between India and Canada.

Nijjar, who was designated a terrorist by the National Bureau of Investigation in 2020, was shot dead on the night of June 18, 2023, as he emerged from a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia.

A video of his murder, which was recently released in March, showed Nijjar being shot dead by armed men in a “contract killing”.

The killing led to accusations by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Indian government was involved in the killing, an allegation that India denies, leading to a deterioration in diplomatic relations between Canada and India.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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