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‘Shameless’ Canadian Parliament pays tribute to Khalistani Terrorist Nijjar, India hits back with tribute to Kanishka Bombing Victims

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On 18 June, 2024, the Canadian Parliament observed a moment of silence for Nijjar, a year after he was killed outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia. Nijjar called for taking up arms against India during a sermon at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, an investigation by the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail revealed.

India designated him a terrorist in 2020. Born in Punjab, Nijjar left for Canada in 1997 and remained there till his death in 2023. At his gurdwara, a portrait of Talwinder Singh Parmar, the founder and leader of the terrorist organisation Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), and one of the main leaders behind the bombing of Air India Flight 182, hangs in the dining hall, according to The Globe and Mail.

Four Indians have been arrested and charged by the Canadian police for the killing of Nijjar.

However, in September 2023, the Canadian government said it had come across credible allegations that agents of the Indian government were linked to the killing of Nijjar. This charge set off a diplomatic firestorm, as a result of which ties between New Delhi and Ottawa reached historic lows.

India slams Canada

Days after the Canadian Parliament paid tribute to pro-Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday recalled the 1985 Kanishka bombing in a social media post, saying that it was a reminder why terrorism should not be tolerated.

“Today marks the 39th anniversary of one of the worst acts of terrorism in history,” Jaishankar said. “Pay my homage to the memory of the 329 victims of AI 182 ‘Kanishka’ who were killed this day in 1985. My thoughts are with their families. The anniversary is a reminder why terrorism should never be tolerated.”

The Indian consulate-general in Vancouver has announced plans to hold a memorial event for the victims of the 1985 Air India Kanishka flight bombing.

A bomb exploded on Air India Flight 182 on 23 June 1985, killing all 329 members on board. It was considered the worst act of aviation terrorism in the world until the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the US, which took place on 11 September, 2001. The flight departed from Montréal and was en route to Mumbai via London and New Delhi, when the bomb exploded off the Irish coast.

The investigations by the RCMP over 39 years has led to only one conviction, which is that of Inderjit Singh Reyat. He was convicted on charges of manslaughter for constructing the bomb. Almost all of the other accused, including Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, were cleared of all charges. The trial cost nearly $130 million, and is the longest and most expensive in the history of Canada.

Canadian Deputy PM stumbles over question on Canada Parliament tribute to Khalistani Terrorist Nijjar

Deputy Prime Minister of Canada Chrystia Freeland stumbed over a question posed to her on why Khalistseparatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was on the no-fly list and had his bank accounts frozen before his death, is now being honoured with a tribute in the Canadian Parliament.

In a video that has now gone viral on social media, a journalist asked Freeland on the paradox of honouring Nijjar despite past government actions against him. The journalist questioned the reason behind this sudden change.

Freeland responded, emphasising the recent solemn anniversary and condemning the murder of a Canadian on Canadian soil. She praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s stance post-assassination, calling it necessary but challenging.

“I do want to start by saying that this week was a very sad and solemn anniversary of the murder. I was in the House of Commons, and I guess all three of us were (referring to the two men sitting beside her). It was important to have a moment of silence to recognise this was the murder of a Canadian in Canada on Canadian soil, and that is entirely unacceptable. Second of all, I do want to say I was very proud of the prime minister and of the strong position he took after the murder.”

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