Recalling the bombing of Air India plane ‘Kanishka’ in 1985 by Khalistani separatists, the Indian government on Friday expressed worries over activities of the “Sikhs for Justice” organisation in Canada, particularly over what the SFJ calls “Punjab Independence Referendum”. The organisation is banned in India.
“These objectionable referendums… it is very unfortunate that these are being allowed in a friendly country. We have reiterated the same before as well. We have conveyed our concerns to the Canadian government at different levels,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a weekly presser.
“We hope that these activities stop in future. India has issued an advisory as well that how anti-India activities are on a rise in Canada and how it is posing a risk to Indians. We must not forget Kanishka bombings. We have already banned the SFJ outfit,” Mr Bagchi added.
Notably, a bomb exploded on Air India Flight 182 ‘Kanishka’ from Canada off the coast of Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing 329 passengers and crew. This included over 280 Canadian citizens.
The group is banned in India since 2019.
Incidentally, India had on September 23 issued an advisory for Indian nationals and students in Canada to remain vigilant amid increasing incidents of crimes and anti-India activities in the country. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Indian missions in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to probe these crimes.
“There has been a sharp increase in incidents of hate crimes, sectarian violence, and anti-India activities in Canada. The Ministry of External Affairs and our High Commission/Consulates General in Canada have taken up these incidents with the Canadian authorities and requested them to investigate the said crimes and take appropriate action,” the MEA said in a statement.
The statement also stressed that “the perpetrators of these crimes have not been brought to justice so far in Canada”.