The death of a Canadian man has caused a problem between India and Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of being involved in the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a supporter of the Khalistan movement. India denied the accusation and demanded that Canada take action against anti-India groups in their country. Both countries expelled each other’s diplomats.
The Khalistan movement is a demand for a separate homeland for Sikhs in the Indian state of Punjab. It started in response to social and political issues faced by Sikhs in post-independence India. Punjab was divided multiple times, causing resentment among the Sikh community. The movement gained momentum under the leadership of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who set up camp at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The Indian army’s operation to remove Bhindranwale and other separatists from the temple further angered Sikhs. The movement was suppressed by the government through strict measures.
The Khalistan movement found supporters among the Sikh diaspora in countries like Canada, Australia, and the UK. Canada has a large Sikh population and significant political representation. Australia’s Sikh population is also growing rapidly. The movement recently organized unofficial referenda for the creation of Khalistan, leading to clashes between supporters and Indian nationalists. Hindu temples in Australia have also been targeted.
The Supreme Sikh Council of Australia condemned India’s alleged involvement in Nijjar’s death and called for the safety of Sikhs who speak out against human rights issues. The Hindu Council of Australia expressed concern about the tensions between Canada and India and called for peace and unity in the local community.
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