Amid the India-Canada diplomatic standoff, Canadian MP Chandra Arya alleged that the extremist elements are “attacking” and “threatening” Hindu-Canadians to go back to India.
He has also urged all the Hindu-Canadians in the country to stay calm, and vigilant and report any untoward incident to law enforcement agencies.
Notably, Chandra Arya is an Indo-Canadian leader who comes from the Liberal Party of Canada, the same party as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Few days back Khalistan movement leader in Canada and the president of Sikhs for Justice which organizes the so-called referendum Gurpatwant Singh Pannun attacked Hindu Canadians asking us to leave Canada and go back to India,” Arya posted on X (formerly Twitter).
“I have heard from many Hindu-Canadians who are fearful after this targeted attack. I urge Hindu-Canadians to stay calm but vigilant. Please report any incident of Hinduphobia to your local law enforcement agencies,” he added.
He further said that the Khalistan movement leader is trying to “provoke” the Hindu Canadians to react and “divide the Hindu and Sikh communities” in Canada.
However, Arya also clarified that a majority of Canadian Sikhs do not support the Khalistan movement.
“Let me be clear. Vast majority of our Canadian Sikh brothers and sisters do not support the Khalistan movement. Most Sikh Canadians may not publicly condemn the Khalistan movement for several reasons but they are deeply connected to the Hindu-Canadian community. Canadian Hindus and Sikhs are connected through family relationships and shared social and cultural ties,” he further said.
Arya stated that this “direct attack” on Hindu Canadians by the leader of the Canadian Khalistan movement is the further escalation of the recent attacks on Hindu temples and public celebration of the assassination of Hindu Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by “terrorists”.
“Canada has high moral values and we fully uphold the rule of law,” he added.
He further expressed dismay at “glorification of terrorism” and hate crime being allowed in the name of “freedom of expression”.
“I can’t understand how the glorification of terrorism or a hate crime targeting a religious group is allowed in the name of freedom of speech and expression. There would be an outrage in Canada if a white supremacist attacked any group of racialized Canadians asking them to get out of our country. But apparently, this Khalistani leader can get away with this hate crime,” he said.
Arya added that the Hindu Canadians keep a low profile, are considered soft targets, and the “anti-Hindu elements” cannot digest the success of Hindu-Canadians.
“Two well-organized groups claiming to represent their faiths have been attacking Hindu-Canadian community leaders, Hindu organizations and even me. For over ten months, I have been attacked for raising a flag with our Hindu religious sacred symbol Aum on our parliament hill,” he stated.
Arya further called upon Hindu-Canadians to stay calm but vigilant.
“As Canadians, we can be proud of our Hindu faith and heritage and our impressive contribution to the socio-economic success of our country Canada,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, in a further souring of ties, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau alleged India's involvement in the killing of Hardeep Nijjar a designated terrorist in India. This was followed by Canada expelling an Indian diplomat from the country.
India has outrightly rejected the allegations, dubbing it as "absurd" and "motivated". In a reciprocal move India then expelled a senior Canadian diplomat from the country.
Khalistan Tiger Force chief Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.