Updated 12:07 pm, Nov 12, 2018

India to speak to Canada on gurudwara ban | SNE

By  deccan herald .
Feb 11, 2018

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India is likely to take up with Canada the issue of the ban on its officials’ entry into some gurudwaras in the country, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host his counterpart Justin Trudeau later this month.

New Delhi is likely to convey to Ottawa its concerns over anti-India extremist elements in Canada, particularly the pro-Khalistani Sikh radicals, sources told the DH.

Modi will host Trudeau in New Delhi. The Canadian prime minister will also visit Agra, Amritsar, Ahmedabad and Mumbai during his maiden visit to India from February 17 to 23.

The management committees of as many as 14 gurudwaras in the Ontario province of Canada recently imposed a ban on the entry of the representatives of the Government of India into the shrines.

They invoked a local law against trespassing to bar “entry to officials of the Indian government, including but not limited to Indian elected officials, Indian consular officials and the members of the organisations which seek to undermine the Sikh nation and Sikh institutions”.

They also alleged “interference by Indian consular and Indian government officials in the lives of Canadian Sikhs” to justify the ban.

This was followed by some Sikh organisations of the United States claiming that 96 gurudwaras in America resolved to ban the entry of officials of Indian government into the shrines.

The organisations which proclaimed the ban include the Sikh Coordination Committee East Coast and American Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee.

In Britain, the pro-Khalistan Sikh Federation of United Kingdom also imposed a similar ban on the entry of the diplomats and other officials of Indian government into the gurudwaras.

A M Gondane, High Commissioner of India to Australia, had also faced protests by some youths when he entered a gurudwara in Melbourne in November.

New Delhi, however, dismissed the moves by the Sikh organisations of Canada, US and UK as attempts by “fringe elements” to run a campaign against India.

“The vast majority of the Sikh diaspora shares a very warm emotional bond with India and has worked for the betterment of relations between India and their countries of residence. The government takes no cognizance of statements by fringe elements which spread hate and communal disharmony,” V K Singh, minister of state for external affairs, informed the Lok Sabha.

New Delhi “closely engaged” the governments of Canada, the UK and the US to address its concerns on “anti-India activities by the extremist elements”.

“The Government also made efforts to strengthen the bonds with the Indian community residing in these countries,” Singh stated in a written reply to a query in the Lok Sabha.

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