India has summoned the Canadian ambassador and recorded protest on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement regarding the farmers’ protest near New Delhi and said that it was an interference in its internal affairs and would severely damage bilateral relations.
Addressing the Indian community in Canada earlier this week, Justice Trudeau said he was concerned about the protests by farmers in the suburbs of New Delhi, most of whom are from the Sikh-majority state of Punjab, against agrarian reform.
According to foreign news agency Reuters, the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “comments on issues related to Indian farmers have caused unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”
“We expect the Government of Canada to ensure the full security of Indian diplomats and its political leaders to refrain from making statements that legitimize extremist activity,” the statement said.
No statement was issued by the Canadian embassy in this regard.
India and Canada have close ties, but in recent years there has been a concern in India that some Sikh leaders based in Canada have ties to separatist groups hostile to India.
Canada is home to an influential Sikh community, and Indian leaders say there are groups that are still sympathetic to the Khalistan movement, an independent Sikh state separate from India.
It may be recalled that on December 1, the Indian government responded immediately without naming the Prime Minister of Canada, saying that the statement of the Canadian leader was based on misinformation and was unnecessary.
Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, “We have seen statements based on the Canadian leader’s misinformation about farmers in India. Such statements are unnecessary and especially when it comes to the internal affairs of a democratic country.” Be concerned with matters.
“It would be better not to use diplomatic discourse out of context for political purposes,” he said.
It may be recalled that in India, the government of Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had introduced agrarian reforms against which thousands of farmers had started marching towards the capital New Delhi.
Police used tear gas and water cannons to stop the farmers’ march and tried to stop Punjab farmers 200 km from Delhi.
Some farmers were armed with sticks and stones and water cannon and tear gas were used by police on the protesters.