“Canada Closely Following Developments In Punjab”: Foreign Minister

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Canada is “very closely” following the developments in Punjab and will continue to address the concerns of the community, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has said amid Punjab Police’s crackdown on radical preacher Amritpal Singh.
Ms Joly was answering a question from Indo-Canadian MP Iqwinder S Gaheer in the House of Commons on Thursday.

“We are aware of the evolving situation in Punjab, and we are following it very closely. We look forward to a return to a more stable situation,” she said.

“Canadians can always count on the Government of Canada to make sure that we will continue to address the concerns of many members of the community,” she added.

Gaheer said he had heard about the ongoing mass suspension of Internet services in Punjab and asked Joly to update the House about the situation in India.

Responding to questions about foreign leaders and parliamentarians commenting on the action against Amritpal Singh, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi urged people residing abroad not to believe “inaccurate and motivated narratives” that are being circulated by some elements on social media.

“Authorities in Punjab are undertaking operations to nab a fugitive. Information regarding that operation is being shared by authorities concerned on a regular basis,” the spokesman said in New Delhi.

Authorities in Punjab last week suspended internet and SMS services in the state following the police crackdown against elements of ‘Waris Punjab De,’ headed by the radical preacher.

Police in Punjab are still searching for Amritpal Singh.

Earlier on Wednesday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the House of Commons: “We are looking forward to a swift return to a more stable situation.” Canada has also seen a rise in anti-India activities recently by Khalistan supporters who have vandalised some Hindu temples.

A Ram Mandir in Mississauga was defaced by ‘Khalistani extremists’ with anti-India graffiti on February 13, drawing a strong reaction from the Indian Consulate in Toronto.

“We strongly condemn the defacing of Ram Mandir in Mississauga with anti-India graffiti. We have requested Canadian authorities to investigate the incident and take prompt action on perpetrators,” India’s Consulate in Toronto had tweeted.

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