Jaspal Atwal, the member of banned outfit International Sikh Youth Federation was seen at the function hosted by Canada High Commission on February 20. The function was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife and children.
Two invitations extended to Jaspal Atwal, a man convicted for the attempted murder of a Punjab Minister in 1986 and a member of banned outfit International Sikh Youth Federation, to events alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have triggered a massive row in India. While the first invite was for a reception hosted in Mumbai that saw Bollywood megastars like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan alongside the Trudeau family on February 20, the second invite was for an event in New Delhi on Thursday. while Atwal attended the first reception in Mumbai, the invitation to the second event has now been withdrawn, reports said.
Controversy erupted after photographs showed Atwal posing with the Canadian PM’s wife, Sophie Trudeau, as well as the Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi. The invite for the second event has now been withdrawn, Canada’s CBS News quoted PMO spokeswoman, Eleanore Catenaro as saying. “I can confirm that the High Commission is in the process of rescinding Mr. Atwal’s invitation.” The Canadian High Commission also issued a statement confirming that they are rescinding Jaspal Atwal’s invitation. The High Commission also stated that they wish not to comment on a matter which relates to the PM Justin Trudeau’s security.
According to CBC News, the banned outfit member was present at the event where Justin Trudeau was also present. News agency ANI today put out photographs of Atwal with the Canadian PM’s wife. At the event, Jaspal Atwal was also seen with the Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi.
Who is Jaspal Atwal?
Jaspal Atwal has been convicted in a case of attempted murder of Indian cabinet minister, Malkiat Singh Sidhu. The incident happened on Vancouver Island back in 1986. Atwal was one of the four men who ambushed and fired a shot at Sidhu’s car. He suffered two bullet injuries but survived. However, he was assassinated later in India. Terming the attack “an act of terrorism”, the court had sentenced Atwal and the others to 20 years. Atwal is reported to have later admitted to the crime.
The row over Jaspal Atwal comes just a day after Justin Trudeau assured Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh during a meeting in Amritsar on Wednesday that he will take up the issue of separatists in Canada funding Khalistan movement in India. Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh said, “With Canadian PM, I took up the topic of militancy concerns that we have to which Trudeau assured us that they will look into this matter.” Punjab CM further added, “I raised the issue of Khalistan. There is a lot of money coming from various countries which includes Canada.”
The Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is in India for a week-long visit, which is aimed to strengthen the ties between India and Canada. He is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital on Friday.