Jaspal Atwal apart from having Khalistani links was also sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment after being found guilty of attempted murder of Punjab Minister.
The controversies surrounding Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s India visit seem to be deepening. After allegedly being snubbed by the Indian government at the time of his arrival in the country, Justin Trudeau had to spend most of his official visit as a family trip with no major leader accompanying him. His meet with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was put on hold too. But, the Punjab CM later agreed to meet him on Wednesday.
However, just a day after meeting Amarinder Singh and giving him a firm assurance on taking strong action against Sikh extremism, it has been learnt that a militant affiliated with Khalistan movement had been invited for Trudeau’s official visit at Mumbai.
Really happy to receive categorical assurance from Canadian PM @JustinTrudeau that his country does not support any separatist movement. His words are a big relief to all of us here in India and we look forward to his government’s support in tackling fringe separatist elements.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) February 21, 2018
Jaspal Atwal apart from having Khalistani links was also sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment after being found guilty of attempted murder of Punjab Minister. Atwal twice shot at Punjab Minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986. However, he survived the attack. He was later killed in India.
Atwal was also an active member International Sikh Youth Federation. It is an organization working to achieve separate Khalistan state which was banned by European Union, US, Canada and India. Jaspal Atwal has considerable presence in the politics of Canada and active at both provincial and federal level.
Jaspal Atwal was found guilty of attempted murder in 1986 after shooting a Punjab state minister who was visiting Vancouver Island. Atwal lives in Canada, but travelled to India and attended a government function last night.
Here he is with Sophie Trudeau. pic.twitter.com/4vyJcTlJr1
— Candice Malcolm (@CandiceMalcolm) February 22, 2018
On Tuesday, Justin Trudeau was in Mumbai where he met several Bollywood personalities and businessmen. At the same event, Jaspal Atwal clicked a picture with Canada’s Minister of infrastructure and Community Amarjeet Sohi and Trudeau’s wife Sophie. The pictures went viral on social media and received widespread flak from people.
Kirsty Duncan, a Minister in the Trudeau delegation promptly issued a statement saying the invitation has been rolled back. Duncan said, “This person definitely should not have been invited. We are investigating how it happened.”
Apart from being a major embarrassment, Justin Trudeau’s wife and a cabinet minister posing with a convicted Khalistani militant also have damaged the reviving talks between India and Canada. Trudeau will tomorrow meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. It is to be seen now whether this issue is raised in the bilateral discussion or not.
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