Ottawa [Canada], September 21 (ANI): Members of 'Hindu Forum Canada' have written to Canada's Minister of Public Safety Dominic LeBlanc seeking security for the country's Hindu community in the face of direct threats from Khalistani elements.
Hindu Forum Canada is a Not-for-Profit humanitarian organization based in Ontario that advocates for policies that enhance the wellbeing of minority groups in Canada.
The forum in a letter addressed to LeBlanc, demanded his urgent attention to the community's deep concerns regarding recent statements made by designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, the head of banned organisation Sikh for Justice.
"We implore the authorities to treat this matter with the utmost seriousness, as it directly impacts the safety and security of Canadian citizens. Our alarm has been exacerbated by the dissemination of a hateful video on social media," the Hindu Forum Canada said.
Designated terrorist in India, Gurpatwant Pannun in a recent viral video, said pro-Khalistan Sikhs have consistently shown loyalty to Canada. He then went on to threaten Indo-Canadian Hindus, urging them to leave the country.
"Hindus living in Canada, leave Canada as soon as possible," he said in the now-viral video.
The Hindu Forum Canada said the foundation of international relationships is predicated on a long-term strategy of mutual benefit, and it is of paramount importance that domestic considerations do not eclipse sound judgment.
This comes amid strain in India-Canada relations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday alleged that the Indian government was behind the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar.
Najjar, who was a designated terrorist in India, was gunned down outside a Gurdwara, in a parking area in Canada's Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
Meanwhile, the forum said Pannu expressed the beliefs held by himself and his Khalistani associates, leaving no room for ambiguity, that they intend to target individuals who do not subscribe to their ideology. These threats have now materialized within Canada, and it is imperative that the Canadian government does not underestimate their gravity.
The forum said that both Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh have previously defended these incidents as matters of freedom of expression.
"We implore them to address Pannu's threat to Indo-Canadian citizens, particularly Hindus residing in Canada. With the support of over a million Canadian Hindus, we earnestly beseech Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to recognize Pannu's threat as a hate crime," the letter said.
"We anticipate that Canadian authorities will take decisive action to address this matter. Will they persist in classifying this threat as an exercise of freedom of expression, or will they acknowledge the danger that has inadvertently befallen Canadian citizens?" the letter added.
On Wednesday, Indian nationals, students in Canada and those planning on travelling to the country were advised to exercise caution.
Indian nationals and Indian students in Canada were advised to avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen growing anti-India activities, according to a release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Indian students in Canada have been particularly advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant. (ANI)