‘Kill India’ posters circulate as Pro-Khalistani rally turns violent in Canada

Violence erupted at an anti-India rally in Toronto as Khalistani protesters clashed with pro-India demonstrators

| Updated: 09 July, 2023 8:39 pm IST
Pro Khalistani supporters disrespected the Indian tricolour during the protest in Toronto

NEW DELHI: Violence erupted during an anti-India rally outside the Indian consulate in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, as two Khalistani protesters were apprehended by police.

The demonstration, which drew approximately 250 pro-Khalistani individuals, was organised by the secessionist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and gained attention through the circulation of inflammatory ‘Kill India’ posters targeting Indian diplomats in Canada.

In a turn of events, pro-India demonstrators confronted the pro-Khalistanis from across the street. Toronto Police created a line of personnel and erected barricades to maintain separation between the opposing groups. Despite these measures, the pro-Khalistanis attempted to breach the barricades and attack the pro-India contingent. Law enforcement promptly pushed them back, and one individual who rushed forward was restrained and apprehended.

ALSO READ: Pro-Khalistani posters targeting Indian Diplomats circulated in Australia, Canada, US

Of the two individuals apprehended, one was taken into custody for allegedly assaulting a police officer. However, a spokesperson for the Toronto Police stated that both were subsequently released without charges, according to the Hindustan Times.

During the rally, the Khalistani group prominently displayed posters of SFJ leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was recently murdered in Surrey, British Columbia. The posters accused India of orchestrating Nijjar’s assassination. Additionally, some protesters wore jackets adorned with the phrase ‘Republic of Khalistan’ and an image of an AK47. The demonstrators also promoted the next phase of the so-called Punjab Referendum, scheduled for July 16 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

ALSO READ: Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar killed in Canada

While Toronto witnessed the largest ‘Kill India’ protest, with approximately 30 peaceful demonstrators gathering outside India’s high commission in Ottawa, a separate protest in Vancouver drew around 50 participants without any incidents reported.

The rallies were organised in honour of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose murder is being investigated by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) in Surrey. Nijjar, the leader of the Khalistan Tiger Force, faced numerous terror-related charges. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had announced an award of ₹10 lakhs for information leading to his capture.

ALSO READ: Indira Gandhi murder recreation at Canada Khalistan rally irks Indians

Earlier, posters reading ‘War Zone’ appeared in front of a temple and other locations in the GTA, causing concerns over the safety of Indian diplomats. Canadian authorities demonstrated responsiveness to these sensitivities, as evidenced by statements from Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly and Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, assuring the safety of foreign diplomats in Canada.

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