What do you know about the Sikh movement at the heart of tensions between India and Canada?

NEW DELHI (AP) — Tensions between Canada and India have reached new heights with… Dueling diplomatic expulsions Alleging the Indian authorities’s involvement within the killing of a Sikh activist on Canadian soil.

The dispute facilities on the Sikh independence motion, or Khalistan. India has repeatedly accused Canada of supporting the motion, which is banned in India however has assist among the many Sikh group within the diaspora.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Parliament on Monday described what he known as credible allegations that India was linked to the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nigar in June. The Indian authorities has denied any position in Naggar’s killing, whereas additionally saying Canada is attempting to shift focus from Khalistan activists there.

Listed below are some particulars about this case:

What’s the Khalistan motion?

the Sikh independence movement It started as an armed rise up within the late Nineteen Eighties amongst Sikhs demanding a separate homeland. It was centered within the northern state of Punjab, the place Sikhs represent the bulk, though they make up about 1.7% of India’s complete inhabitants.

The rise up lasted for greater than a decade, and was suppressed by an Indian authorities crackdown wherein hundreds of individuals had been killed, together with distinguished Sikh leaders.

A whole lot of younger Sikhs had been additionally killed in police operations, a lot of which had been later confirmed in courts to have been premeditated, in line with human rights teams.

In 1984, Indian forces stormed the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest shrine, in Amritsar to expel separatists who had taken refuge there. The operation resulted within the deaths of about 400 individuals, in line with official figures, however Sikh teams say hundreds had been killed.

Among the many useless was hardline Sikh chief Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was accused by the Indian authorities of main an armed rise up.

On October 31, 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered the raid on the temple, was assassinated by two of her bodyguards, who had been Sikhs.

Her loss of life sparked a collection of anti-Sikh riots, wherein Hindu mobs went home to accommodate all through northern India, particularly New Delhi, dragging Sikhs from their properties, beating many to loss of life and burning others alive.

Is the motion nonetheless energetic?

There is no such thing as a energetic insurgency in Punjab at the moment, however the Khalistan motion nonetheless has some supporters within the state, in addition to within the massive Sikh diaspora outdoors India. The Indian authorities has repeatedly warned over time that Sikh separatists try to make a comeback.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities has additionally intensified the prosecution of Sikh separatists and arrested dozens of leaders from varied teams linked to the motion.

When farmers camped on the outskirts of New Delhi to protest controversial farm legal guidelines in 2020, the Modi authorities initially tried to discredit Sikh contributors by calling them “Khalistanis.” Underneath strain, the Modi authorities later withdrew the legal guidelines.

Earlier this yr, Indian police arrested a separatist chief who revived requires Khalistan and raised fears of violence in Punjab. Amritpal Singh, a 30-year-old preacher, captured nationwide consideration together with his fiery sermons. He mentioned he took inspiration from Bhindranwale.

How robust is the motion outdoors India?

India has requested nations equivalent to Canada, Australia and the UK to take authorized motion in opposition to Sikh activists, and Modi has personally raised the problem with the prime ministers of the nations. India has significantly raised these considerations with Canada, the place Sikhs make up almost 2% of the nation’s inhabitants.

Earlier this yr, Sikh protesters Take down the Indian flag On the nation’s Excessive Fee in London, they smashed a window of the constructing in a present of anger in opposition to the transfer to arrest Amritpal Singh. Protesters additionally smashed the home windows of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco and clashed with embassy employees.

The Indian Ministry of Overseas Affairs condemned the occasions and summoned the British Deputy Excessive Commissioner in New Delhi to protest what it described as a violation of safety on the embassy in London.

The Indian authorities additionally accused Khalistan supporters in Canada of vandalizing Hindu temples, writing “anti-India” graffiti and attacking the workplaces of the Indian Excessive Fee in Ottawa throughout a protest in March.

Final yr, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, a Sikh militant chief and head of the Khalistan commando power, was shot useless in Pakistan.

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