Indian-origin Canadian MP Chandra Arya on Monday shared a purported video on social media showing pro-Khalistani threatening to create trouble at the Hindu Laxmi Narayan Mandir in Surrey, British Columbia.
Taking to X, Arya said that Hindu temples have come under attacks by Khalistani extremists in the last couple of years and hate crimes are being committed against Hindu-Canadians. He urged Canadian authorities to take action against such acts and said that allowing these things to be done openly is “not acceptable”.
“Last week Khalistan supporters verbally abused a Sikh family outside a Sikh Gurdwara in Surrey BC according to some reports. Now it appears the same Khalistan group want to create trouble at the Hindu Laxmi Narayan Mandir in Surrey,” said the Canadian MP in his post.
“All these are being done in the name of freedom of speech and expression. Like a broken record, I am again asking Canadian authorities to step in and take action,” he added.
This comes after a disturbing video emerged on social media showing a brawl between scores of Sikhs and Hindus on Diwali in Mississauga. Responding to the Toronto Sun query, police confirmed the incident and said Peel Regional Force has been investigating the matter.
A Hindu temple was vandalised in Canada by extremist elements with Khalistan referendum posters in August this year. The poster on the temple gate had the picture of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, whose death was at the centre of a major diplomatic standoff between India and Canada.
Attacks on Hindu temples in Canada
This is not the first such attack on a Hindu temple in Canada; multiple such incidents have been carried out by Khalistani extremists. Several incidents were also recorded this year itself. In April this year, BAPS Swaminarayan temple was vandalised with anti-India graffiti in Windsor, in Canada’s Ontario.
Prior to that, the Ram Mandir in Canada’s Mississauga was vandalised with anti-India graffiti in February. The Consulate General of India in Toronto condemned the defacing of the mandir and requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident.
In January, a Hindu temple in Brampton was also defaced with anti-India graffiti, triggering outrage among the Indian community.
India-Canada diplomatic row
The tensions between the countries over the Khalistan issue flared tremendously following the Khalistani attacks on the Indian Embassy in Canada in the aftermath of the arrest of extremist leader Amritpal Singh in India’s Punjab. Later, the matter escalated fuelled at the next level following the murder of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar by unknown people outside a Gurudwara in June this year.
Later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged that Indian agents involved in the killing of Nijjar poised the relations between the two nations to a new low. However, India outrightly rejected the claims and suggested Ottawa address the concerns raised by New Delhi related to the minority.
After the expulsion of diplomats from both countries, India briefly cancelled visa services for Canadian nationals and asked the Canadian embassy to minimise the diplomatic presence as it considered Ottawa had much staff whose roles were questionable.
Arya, a member of Trudeau’s Liberal Party, had slammed his own government for failing to take action against Khalistani terrorists and raised concerns over the safety of Hindu Americans at the time.
“The killing of a duly-elected Prime Minister of the largest democracy of the world, that was allowed to be displayed and celebrated. Which democratic country, in the name of freedom of expression and speech, allows this thing to happen?” he said in an interview.
(with inputs from agencies)